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PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat Sends Friendly Message to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein

Dinsdag, Juli 15, 1997 / Last Modified: Zondag, Januari 14, 2018

July 15, 1997

Should Congress authorize continuation of the
$500-million U.S. aid package to the PLO, despite the latest actions by
Yasir Arafat and the PLO to strengthen their friendship with Saddam
Hussein?

That is the question raised by the news that Arafat recently sent a
message of warm friendship to the Iraqi dictator.

According to the official Iraqi News Agency, in Baghdad (July 10,
1997), Arafat sent a message which “conveyed the greetings of the
Palestinian president to President Saddam Hussein and reiterated the
Palestinian people’s pride in their close relations with the Iraqi people
and in the principled and firm Iraqi positions in the face of the
challenges and conspiracies implemented by the enemies of the Arab nation.
[Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin] Ramadan expressed on behalf of President
Saddam Hussein his thanks to his brother President Arafat…”

Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of
America, said: “As Congress considers whether or not to continue the
$500-million U.S. aid package to the PLO, it should take into consideration
the PLO’s efforts to strengthen its friendship with one of the most
anti-American regimes in the world.”

Other pro-Iraq statements and actions by Arafat and the PLO:

  • The PLO’s Palestinian Legislative Council denounced the U.S.
    missile strike in western Iraq (in response to Iraqi attacks on Kurds
    there), as “American aggression against the sister state, Iraq.” The PA
    also called upon the United Nations to take action to
    “end this arrogance,” and urged Arab states to provide Iraq “any form of
    financial aid and moral support…so that sister Iraq can recapture her
    natural place in the taking of the national and pan-Arab responsibility.”
    (An Nahar, Sept. 5, 1996)
  • Arafat visited Iraq in 1993, met with Saddam, and hailed “the
    greatness of the Iraqi people and their leader.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 3,
    1993)
  • During the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf crisis, PLO chairman Yasir
    Arafat was Saddam Hussein’s closest Arab ally. After the Iraqi occupation
    of Kuwait, the PLO denounced America’s opposition to the occupation,
    accusing Washington of “beathing the drums of a destructive war and raising
    tension toward a complete explosion.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 14, 1990)
  • According to the London Independent, “much of the logistical
    planning for the Iraqi invasion was based on intelligence supplied by PLO
    officials and supporters based in Kuwait.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 8, 1990)

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