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Arafat, other PLO groups say rift has been mended

A rift that threatened the survival of the Palestine Liberation Organization and drove its leader, Yasser Arafat, out of Lebanon last year appears to have been healed.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, five of the rival PLO factions declared their talks ''a complete success'' and ''a historical step'' toward PLO unity. They said they had agreed on ''a political and structural document'' to determine PLO strategy and be the basis of a comprehensive Palestinian exchange of ideas, to begin at once.

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