Your editorial cast many doubts on the legality of the State Department's decision to close the PLO offices. In fact, the decision announced in late September will not help the efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. On the contrary, it slams the door in the face of moderate Palestinians and Arabs. It also deprives the American people of an avenue to better understand the Palestinian problem.
The timing of the decision casts some other doubts on the motives and intentions behind it:
--The decision works against the efforts exerted by Egypt and other moderate Arab states to pave the way for an international peace conference on the Middle East.
--It comes after PLO chairman Yasser Arafat reiterated the PLO's readiness to negotiate peace through a conference based on U.N. resolutions.
--The decision also comes on the eve of the U.S. presidential election year.
The lack of dialogue with the Palestinians serves no good purpose and endangers the sincere hopes and efforts for peace and stability.