Palestinian leaders have decided to resume talks with king Hussein on their relationships with Jordan -- which suffered a rift nearly seven years ago when the Palestinians were forcibly driven out of the country.
GV INTERIOR: Palestinian Council meeting in progress in Damascus, Syria.
SV: Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat -- left, wearing hat -- seated next to chairman Khaled al-Fanhoum.
SCU: Arafat delivering statement to meeting.
SV: committee members listening.
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Background: Palestinian leaders have decided to resume talks with king Hussein on their relationships with Jordan -- which suffered a rift nearly seven years ago when the Palestinians were forcibly driven out of the country. The decision came at a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council on Saturday (22 January) in Damascus, Syria.
SYNOPSIS: The forty-member council decided to officially meet King Hussein on the basis of the 1974 Arab summit conference in Rabat, Morocco. At the summit, the Jordanian monarch joined other Arab leaders in recognising the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. PLO commando leader Yassar took part in the decision.
A date for a conference with King Hussein was not announced, but it's expected to take place before a meeting next month of the Palestinian National Council -- the supreme body. But meanwhile, talks with dissident Palestinian factions have to be held before the National Council can meet. Among the dissidents who boycotted Saturday's meeting were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the second largest commando group to Yassar Arafat's PLO.
Palestinian guerrillas were expelled by the Jordanian army following a fierce ten-day battle in September 1970.