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Officials of Islamic states weigh arms aid for PLO

Delegates at a five-day meeting of Islamic foreign ministers are discussing offering limited military support to the PLO in its fight with Israel, conference sources said Thursday.

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They said most delegates favored setting up a military bureau of the 42 -member Islamic Conference Organization (ICO), based in the Saudi Arabian city of Jiddah. The new wing, to be called the Office for ICO Military Coordination, would cooperate with the PLO in extending what the sources called material and manpower support. The extent of military support envisaged was not clear.

Meanwhile, the PLO appealed to the Islamic organization to help heal the rift between PLO chief Yasser Arafat and Syrian-backed rebels.