PLO seeks deal on Palestinian state

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Tunis - Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, pitching demands for a Palestinian state back to centre stage, is to insist that Israel recognise such a state if it wants the PLO to purge its charter of clauses denying the Jewish state's right to exist. Sakhr Abu Nizar, a member of Fatah's central committee, said the decision had been taken on Saturday night at a meeting in Tunis chaired by Mr Arafat.

'The charter cannot be amended without Israel's recognition of a Palestinian state,' Mr Abu Nizar, a Fatah moderate, said. 'We cannot recognise Israel's right to exist without reciprocation which is Israel's recognition of the existence of a Palestinian state.' Mr Arafat undertook, in a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the time of last year's self-rule deal, to amend those articles of the charter denying Israel's right to exist. Reuter