Statement on Diplomatic
Talks With the Palestine Liberation Organization
December 14, 1988
Palestine Liberation Organization today issued a statement in which it accepted
United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, recognized Israel's right to exist, and
renounced terrorism. These have long been our conditions for a substantive
dialog. They have been met. Therefore, I have authorized the State Department
to enter into a substantive dialog with PLO representatives. The Palestinian
Liberation Organization must live up to its statements. In particular, it must
demonstrate that its renunciation of terrorism is pervasive and permanent.
initiation of a dialog between the United States and PLO representatives
is an important step in the peace process, the more so because it represents
the serious evolution of Palestinian thinking towards realistic and pragmatic
positions on the key issues. But the objective of the United States remains, as always, a
comprehensive peace in the Middle East. In that light, we view
this development as one more step toward the beginning of direct negotiations
between the parties, which alone can lead to such a peace.
United States special commitment to Israel's security and
well-being remains unshakable. Indeed, a major reason for our entry into this
dialog is to help Israel achieve the recognition
and security it deserves.