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US, PLO reportedly held nine months of secret talks

The United States conducted secret negotiations for nine months with the Palestine Liberation Organization in an attempt to convince PLO leader Yasser Arafat to recognize Israel's right to exist, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The Times said a US intermediary, John Edwin Mroz of New York, conducted the talks until June 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon.

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In response to the report, Secretary of State George Shultz reiterated the US policy since 1975 that it would not recognize the PLO until it recognized Israel's right to exist.

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