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Austria legitimizes a PLO presence

Neutral Austria broke ranks with the West Thursday by granting official status to a Palestinian diplomat in a move described by Chancellor Bruno Kreinsky as "a new form of diplomatic recognition." The Austrian government said it was ready to talk with a Palestine Liberation Organization envoy based in Austria "when there are questions concerning the Palestinian people or the PLO."

While it was unclear whether this meant full diplomatic recognition for the PLO, the Austrian action astonished Western and Israeli diplomats. Israel demanded an immediate explanation.

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