The Arab world on Wednesday welcomed the left-leaning Labor Party's victory in Israeli elections, expecting the hard-liners' ouster to improve the chances of Middle East peace.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called for a dialogue with Yitzhak Rabin, the Labor Party leader, who is expected to form the new Israeli government.

Jordan and Lebanon cautiously welcomed the change, and Egypt expressed strong belief it would have a positive impact on the peace talks.

The hard-line government of Syria refrained from comment. But a newspaper editorial cautioned Arabs against too much optimism over the results of Tuesday's poll.

Like the right-wing Likud Party, Labor is opposed to a Palestinian state. But Rabin is more flexible on granting Palestinians autonomy and freezing the settlement of Jews in Arab territories occupied in 1967.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.