Jordon's King Hussein is to meet a delegation from the Palestine Liberation Organization next week for talks aimed at ending the six-year rift between Jordan and the PLO
Jordanian and Palestinian sources confirmed today that the talks will take place at the royal place here. Khaled Fahoum, chairman of the PLO National Council - the Palestinians' Parliament-in-exile - will head the PLO delegation.
Fahoum was received in Mmman last month by Hussein in the first high-level contact between the Jordanian government and the PLO since Palestinian commandos were driven out of Jordan after bitter fighting in September 1970.
Talks between Hussein and the PLO represent a major move in current efforts toward peace in the Middle East. They could help pave the way for a renewed Geneva conference by permitting Jordan and the PLO to go to Geneva together.
Arab nations have been pressuring the PLO to moderate its opposition to a peace settlement with Israel. It is believed that Syria tried unsuccessfully last fall to replace Yasser Arafat with someone less militant as the leader of the PLO.
Recently, Syria and its Arab allies reputedly have sought to dilute Arafat's power by stacking the PLO National Council with "independent" Palestininans more inclined to follow the lead of the Arab states.
Informed sources here said Hussein wants to discuss with the PLO delegation ways in which the views of Palestinians in Jordan and the occupied West Bank and Gaze can be best represented in any negotiations.
Two representatives from the West Bank met with Fahoum when he was in Amman last month, the sources said, and delegates from the West Bank also may attend next week's talks.
It was unclear whether the talks would precede the visit here Tuesday of U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, who is meeting with Arab leaders as part of the current effort to reconvene the peace talks.
Accord between Jordan and the PLO would complete a general reconciliation between Syria, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians that has been taking place in recent months.
The Arab powers apparently are pushing the PLO to consider the possible creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank of the Jordan and the Gaza Strip, accoding to policial observers here.