Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir said tonight that the military defeat of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon should now be followed by the withdrawal of all support for the PLO by governments and organizations around the world.
Speaking to the 68th convention of the Women's Zionist Organization of America here, Shamir said, "Now that the PLO is smashed and expelled from Lebanon, we call on governments of the free world to close the PLO offices which they permitted to be opened in their capitals and to join in a move to expel PLO representatives from international conferences and organizations.
"If those governments, especially in Europe and Japan, indeed do have a stake in stability and progress toward peace in the Middle East, they must realize now that these goals can be achieved sooner and better if the PLO influence is removed," Shamir added.
The Israeli foreign minister said the governments that have supported the PLO at the United Nations and at international conferences or have allowed them to function openly in their territory "cannot escape responsibility and even complicity in the terrorist outrages committed by the PLO."
Shamir also pointedly praised the government of Egypt, which has severely criticized Israel's invasion of Lebanon but remained on the sidelines during the conflict in accordance with its 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
In the wake of the war, Israel has mounted a diplomatic offensive to revive the negotiations on autonomy for the inhabitants of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip as called for under the Camp David peace accords. But Egypt, which along with the United States and Israel was a party to the Camp David agreement, has said it will not participate in autonomy talks until all Israeli forces are withdrawn from Lebanon.
"Egypt has every reason to be satisfied with its record," Shamir said. "Ever since Camp David and until today, Egypt has done more for the Palestinian Arabs than all the other self-appointed friends of the PLO and the PLO themselves. Egypt has demonstrated to the rest of the Arab world that there is no option but that of negotiations, coexistence and peace."
Shamir also said in the speech that if Saudi Arabia believes it has "a stake in stability in our region, now is the time for them to prove it by disengaging themselves from the PLO and stop providing them with financial support."