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Arafat, Hussein go back to the drawing board on Palestinian issue

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A feeling of optimism has surrounded talks between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Jordan's King Hussein in Amman. Palestinian and Jordanian officials stressed the atmosphere was one of ''openness and frankness'' since Mr. Arafat's arrival on Sunday. The two leaders resumed talks whether the King would represent Palestinians in possible talks with Israel over the future of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such talks would center on a United States proposal for a Palestinian ''entity'' on the West Bank and Gaza in confederation with Jordan.

The first trial in this Jordanian-Palestinian dialogue failed last April, the last time the two leaders met.

Then, as could happen now, radical Palestine Liberation Organization factions and Arab regimes like Syria and Libya succeeded in putting enough pressure on the PLO chairman to make it impossible for him to coordinate with King Hussein.

Syria remains hostile to King Hussein's policies and is home for Arafat's opponents within the PLO. The resumption of the Hussein-Arafat dialogue cannot but sharpen the differences between these opposing groups. Arafat's new ''popular base'' is, however, in Jordan and in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He knows it as much as Hussein, who rules a kingdom with a population composed mostly of Palestinians.

[According to United Press International, Hussein urged Arafat to accept two United Nations Security Council resolutions in a move that would constitute recognition of Israel's right to exist, a government spokesman said Monday. A Western diplomat said,''The King appears to be taking a tough line with Arafat.'']


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