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Egyptian ambassador hints at new moves in UN on Lebanon

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Egypt's Ambassador to the United States, Ashraf Ghorbal, was reflecting at midday on his meeting with reporters during breakfast the day before.

''It's strange,'' he said, ''that no one picked up what I had to say about the French-Egyptian plan that is circulating at the United Nations.''

Mr. Ghorbal was referring to a proposal that was ''part of the effort to keep moving forward toward a Palestinian state and to arrange total withdrawal from Lebanon as well as a deal with Beirut.''

Mr. Ghorbal had said at the morning session with 34 reporters that ''the proposal is there at the UN, waiting for the right time to be submitted to the Security Council.''

''We are in continuous touch with the United States and the other members of the Security Council,'' he said, ''as to when is the right time to bring it out.''

And now, in this post-breakfast interview, the ambassador was saying that this plan might well be presented to the UN Security Council ''by the end of this week.''

How important would this French-Egyptian initiative be, he was asked. ''It will contain a few things that will be amplified, that need to be amplified on the Palestinian problem,'' he said. He then indicated that this proposal could well add significantly to what he sees as growing momentum toward resolution of the Palestinian problem.

Mr. Ghorbal had said that Yasser Arafat's statement about relations with Israel indicated he was ''inching forward'' toward recognition of Israel. But he said he thought it unfortunate that neither Israel nor the US welcomed it as a ''first step.''

Would Arafat now become more precise? Would he soon be providing the specifics that Israel demanded, Mr. Ghorbal was asked during the post-breakfast interview. ''I know that the Palestinians want to say more,'' he said. ''I know Arafat would like to say anything that should be said.''

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