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PLO-Egyptian relations on the mend

By James DorseySpecial to The Christian Science Monitor / March 25, 1983



Cairo

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is trying to repair its relations with the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Relations between Egypt and the PLO reached a new low following last month's Palestine National Council (PNC) resolution demanding Egypt's abandonment of the Camp David agreements as a condition for reconciliation with the PLO.

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Mr. Mubarak reacted to the PNC's call in an angry speech, accusing the PLO of interfering in ''Egypt's internal affairs.''

But Egyptian officials expressed satisfaction with this week's statement by the PLO's second in command, Salah Khalaf, that ''annulment of Camp David is not a condition for restoration of relations with Egypt and we have agreed to adopt any positive step that would help in a rapprochement with Egypt.''

Earlier this month President Mubarak rejected repeated PLO requests that he meet PLO chief Yasser Arafat during the nonaligned summit conference in New Delhi.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali told the Cairo weekly magazine Al Mussawer March 24, however, that ''if a dialogue (with the PLO) serves the Palestinian cause, we will not refuse to resume the dialogue.''

Much will depend, according to senior Egyptian officials, on Mr. Arafat's forthcoming talks with King Hussein of Jordan. The PLO chief is expected to travel to Amman shortly to discuss a Palestinian mandate for a Jordanian negotiating role in the US-sponsored Middle East peace process.

''The outcome of these contacts,'' an Egyptian official said, ''will determine our attitude toward the PLO.''