‘U.S. Prepared to Talk,’ Shultz Says
Following is the opening statement of Secretary of State George P. Shultz at a news conference Wednesday concerning a U.S. dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization:
The Palestine Liberation Organization today issued a statement in which it accepts U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and renounces terrorism. As a result, the United States is prepared for a substantive dialogue with PLO representatives.
I am designating our ambassador to Tunisia as the only authorized channel for that dialogue.
The objective of the United States remains as always: a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
In that light, I view this development as one more step toward the beginning of direct negotiations between the parties, which alone can lead to such a peace.
Nothing here may be taken to imply an acceptance or recognition by the United States of an independent Palestinian state. The position of the United States is (that) the status of the West Bank and Gaza (strip) cannot be determined by unilateral acts of either side, but only through a process of negotiations. The United States does not recognize the declaration of an independent Palestinian state.
It is also important to emphasize that the U.S. commitment to the security of Israel remains unflinching.