Norwegian Role as Go-Between for PLO and Israelis Told

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Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg said in an interview published Monday that his Labor Party has carried messages between Israeli groups and the Palestine Liberation Organization since 1982.

He told the left-wing daily Klassekampen that after it came to power in 1986, his party has also carried messages between the United States and the PLO.

“Since 1982, the Labor Party has acted as a postman for the key players in the Middle East,” he said.


Stoltenberg declined to name any of the Israeli groups concerned. The work began after a Labor delegation met with PLO leader Yasser Arafat at the end of 1982 and continued on a party level, since Labor was then in opposition.

It continued after Labor, under Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, came to power in 1986.

Last week, Stoltenberg said he plans to visit Arafat in Tunis to see if Norway can help in the Middle East peace process.