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Rejection Front [2]

REJECTION FRONT [2]

In October 1977 Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat traveled to Jerusalem to negotiate peace with Israel. Between 2 and 5 December 1977 representatives of a number of Arab countries met in Tripoli, Libya, to oppose the move. Libya, Algeria, South Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were represented, having reconciled their differences. They constituted a second Rejection Front of Arab states (as distinct from the internal PLO Rejection Front [1], active since 1973). A final communiqué of this conference called for action to neutralize the effects of Sadat's move: a freeze in political and diplomatic relations with Egypt; nonparticipation in Arab League meetings held in Cairo; reconsideration of Egypt's membership in the Arab League; and opposition to any attempt to challenge the legitimacy of the PLO as representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO reaffirmed its rejection of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. In September 1981, meeting in Benghazi, Libya, the leaders of the front decided on a rapprochement with the Soviet Union and invited Arab countries to "reconsider their relations with the United States" and oppose, with all the means at their disposal, the accord of strategic cooperation that had been concluded between Washington and Tel Aviv. On 18 November 1981 the final communiqué from a meeting of the front at Aden stressed that "Arab solidarity should be based on a confrontation with Zionism and its ally, the United States." In June 1982 the Israeli invasion of Lebanon caused a schism in the front, resulting in its dissolution. Throughout the history of the Palestinian movement, the Arab response has been characterized by a lack of cohesiveness, due principally to a struggle for leadership and to political and ideological divergences.

SEE ALSO League of Arab States; Palestine Liberation Organization; Rejection Front [1]; Resolution 242; Resolution 338; Sadat, Anwar al-.

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