Hardline Palestinian Factions Oppose Arafat Meeting with Clinton
Two Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) factions came out Thursday against any meeting between US President Bill Clinton and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, according to statements received in Damascus.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) both accused Washington of "aligning with Israel."
"The American administration demonstrated its bias in favor of Israel by covering up the savage crimes perpetuated by the occupying Israeli army against Palestinians. It is therefore unacceptable that the United States continue as the only (sponsor) of the peace process," the PFLP said.
The group called "dangerous" a return to negotiations "on the basis of the Oslo accords) on Palestinian autonomy and conforming to American ideas.
"We cannot count on the American role, the essential goal of which is to impose Israeli policies," it added.
The DFLP said a meeting between Clinton and Arafat would translate into "American pressure on Arafat to stop the Intifada under the pretext of halting the violence," referring to the Palestinian uprising.
The PFLP and DFLP, both based in Damascus, and Arafat's larger Fateh faction, are the principal components of the PLO.
The White House announced Tuesday that Clinton had proposed separate meetings with Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Washington, with the aim of implementing the truce agreement reached at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in Egypt.
Almost a month of deadly clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the Palestinian territories have left 140 people dead, almost all of them Arabs.
In Gaza, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday a meeting between Arafat and Clinton would likely take place at the start of November in Washington – DAMASCUS (AFP)
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