Nonaligned countries plan to call on UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to make a fresh attempt for peace in the Middle East, delegates to a conference of 34 nonaligned countries said.
The conference is expected to call for sanctions against Israel and increased aid to the Palestine Liberation Organization, a full member of the nonaligned movement. PLO leader Yasser Arafat will address the opening session of the three-day conference today (April 6). A four-member nonaligned peace group is expected to meet separately with the Iraqis and Iranians in a new attempt to end their war.
Egypt, suspended from the Arab League because of its 1978 peace treaty with Israel, but not from the nonaligned movement despite repeated attempts by hard-liners, is attending its first major conference in an Arab country since then. Observers said Egypt's presence at the conference to prepare for a summit of nonaligned leaders in September could give added impetus to Cairo's return to the Arab fold under President Hosni Mubarak.