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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 05, 1972

MINUTES OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN COMRADE NICOLAE CEAUșESCU AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION, YASSER ARAFAT, IN CAIRO, APRIL 5 1972

This document was made possible with support from the Bilkent University

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    Nicolae Ceaușescu and Yasir Arafat discuss the struggles of Palestine and goals in regards to Israel.
    "Minutes of Conversation between Comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu and the President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, in Cairo, April 5 1972," April 05, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, C.C. al P.C.R., Sectia Relatii Externe, dosar 19/1972, pp. 71-92. Contributed and translated by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/219917
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Minutes of

conversation between comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu and the President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, in Cairo

- April 5 1972 -

Comrades Ion Pățan, member of the Central Committee of the RCP, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Ștefan Andrei, deputy member of the Central Committee of the RCP, first deputy of the International Section of the Central Committee of the RCP attended the meeting.

[Yasser Arafat] was accompanied by Farouk Kaddoumi, member of the PLO Executive Committee, Rebhi Kha’Wash, head of the International Section of Fatah.

The meeting started at 18:00 and ended at 19:30.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Here we are! We [finally] meet!

Yasser Arafat: We should have met a long time ago!

Nicolae Ceaușescu: I agree, but it’s [better late than never].

Yasser Arafat: We were supposed to meet in Algeria, but local conditions did not allow us to. We met in Yugoslavia. We are very content with this meeting.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: So are we; truthfully, our visit to Egypt is coming along very nicely.

We would like to hear what you have to say first.

Yasser Arafat: Our discussion, comrade Ceaușescu, ought to be a very long one. I am very happy to meet one of the comrades who pay a great deal of attention to the struggle of our people.

Ever since 1948, our people has encountered great difficulties in its struggle. In 1948, a part of our country was taken away, and the state of what [people] call Israel was created, giving rise to the refugee problem, which [affects] 1,250,000 people. Another part [of our country] was annexed by Jordan, by means which were not recognized by the Arab League. Undoubtedly, we are presented with two alternatives: either to capitulate, or to continue our struggle to go back to our homeland. Of course, if you had been in our position, you would have chosen to fight, and nobody believes that we [fight] against Jews as a religion, or as a people; we [fight] against Zionism, which took a part of our country and turned our people into refugees, with nowhere to go.

We are a people which is the [driving] force of life; although we are a people with refugees, we have the largest share of educated people among the Arab states. Our people, which amounts to 3 million people, has 70,000 students. We waited 17 years for the UN to solve our problem and for public opinion to come to our rescue, but people did not focus their entire attention on us. This is why we started our armed struggle in 1965.

We know that our struggle is no ordinary thing. We are aware that [our struggle] is a long-term [struggle]. We are aware of the depth of our problem from an international point of view and from an Arab point of view. We are aware the odds are against us, either on the international stage, or in the Arab world. These [factors] are represented by the agents of imperialism in our region. We also know that there are international factors against us. I must mention what President Johnson said once. When asked about the fate of the Palestinian people, he said that ‘the [Palestinians] are lucky to still walk on Earth and be alive.’

Since 1965, we are active and we persist in our struggle. Since we started our struggle, in the 7 years that passed, we have not been defeated. Undoubtedly, we [started] from a progressive, not reactionary, idea. We did not say we would drive the Jews into the sea, but our objective is the creation of a Palestinian state, in which Muslims, Jews, and Christians coexist on an equal and brotherly basis, without any hatred, without any discrimination based on skin color or religion. We call our territory a territory of peace, and we want it to be the land of peace, but not to the detriment of other [peoples]. We invite our enemies to live the way we live. Some may say: ‘you will never defeat Israel; you are [just] a people’, [but] that is alright. But to this we add one thing: we are aware of [our] Arab [roots], we are the driving force of the Arab nation. Maybe the United States and Israel can impose their [own] will through their military might, but winning one battle does not mean winning the war in its entirety. We see it as a long-lasting battle. We know that Nazism spread across Europe, conquered half of Russia, a part of Africa, but in the end it was crushed, and the [free] peoples were triumphant. Israel and the United States cannot always impose their will and their influence in this region. The [balance] of forces in the world is changing and those people who understand the dynamics of history realizes that [it changes]. We think there will be transformations and changes from now on [too].

Please understand, comrade [Ceaușescu] that when we had proposed the creation of a Palestinian state, it took us three years to convince Arab states and even Palestinian themselves, but we are revolutionaries and we [keep] fighting for this.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: What territory should this Palestinian state be comprised of?

Yasser Arafat: The entire Palestine in which we lived before 1948; we lived together with them before 1948. There were Arabs, British people, and Jews.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: And which were its borders? I can't recall[…]

Yasser Arafat: From the Mediterranean to the south of Lebanon and the Gulf of Aqaba.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Whose was the Gulf of Aqaba?

Yasser Arafat: It was Palestine’s. It is a well-known fact. It may be that some of the people who live in Palestine now, when they hear what I just say, burst into laughter. In 1939, when the creation of the state of Israel on our territory was discussed, some Arab heads of state were laughing. But 30 years later, [the state of Israel] became a reality and in 30 years from now, the world will change. We are aware that there is an attempt to have Palestine’s consent for signing off [what happened] and recognize a ‘fait accompli’, the reality that exists now, but from a Palestinian point of view, none of us can do such a thing. This Palestinian people has been fighting continuously for the past 23 years. You have no idea how much we had to suffer.    

Our people lived in tents; even now it lives in tents. It suffered from an economic, material and moral point of view, [it had] no country, no legitimacy; moreover, it was cast away [from everywhere]. We have nothing to lose, and if we are to lose our tents, let’s lose them, but we know one thing, we are aware of our [influence] in the region. We say that there will be no peace in the Middle East as long as our people keeps living in tents.

We started our struggle with 17 guns; now we have tens of thousands of weapons; even in Jordan, where [we] clashed with the [Jordanian] forces, weapons remain in our hands. King Hussein, the United States and Israel are aware of this [situation]. In the past three years, we lost 33,000 martyrs. We have 17,000 prisoners in Israeli jails, and 25,000 families in concentration camps, where [they] hold children, women and men.

This was a short expose on our realities, so that we can start our conversation.

We ask all people of good faith in the world to be on our side, on the side of this people. It is true, our people is not numerous, but it withstood thousands of casualties for the past 17 years, and it will continue to fight. This means we will not recognize the ‘fait accompli’ and it has been proven that our people gave birth to an explosive problem for the region.

How much time do we have left?

Nicolae Ceaușescu: We have until around 19:30.

Comrade [Arafat] I am glad we met. I think time will not allow us to have too long a conversation, but maybe we reach an agreement to meet at a later time, for a longer discussion. So, I see this as a preliminary meeting, so to say.

Yasser Arafat: We salute [your proposal], comrade [Ceaușescu].

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Of course, the struggle of the Palestinian people is also a very important issue among matters related to the Middle East. We believe that the demand of the Palestinian people to organize its life independently, according to its own wishes, is a just demand.

Yasser Arafat: That is true.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: The issue is how to achieve this desire. I listened to your short presentation, and I noted that the Palestinian liberation movement wants to create a multinational democratic state, so to say, which would bring together Palestinians, Jews, and Christians who live in this area. Needless to say, as an idea, as a principle, this looks, at a first glance, as a good thing, but it remains to determine the ways and means to achieve this goal. [One] must, however, start from the existing situation, and [it must] be decided first how to take action so as to achieve the conditions for the Palestinian people to live an independent life. We’ve only known each other for half an hour. I like to talk very openly; even then when there are divergent views on an issue, I do not tell my interlocutor what he wants to hear. Some [tell their interlocutors only what they want to hear]; but I like to tell [people] how I see things, given the information available at a certain moment in time. To have a sound judgment on an issue, one must know the reality [on the ground], the [actual] issues as thoroughly as possible. For this reason, all I want to say now are only generalities.

You see, it is nonetheless a fact that the state of Israel was created in 1948; it remains to be seen if it was a just or unjust [act]. Romania did not contribute to its creation, so it bears no responsibility. But when we [analyze] the situation, we must start from the realities on the ground. As comrade Arafat said, [we cannot] talk about driving Jews into the sea.

Yasser Arafat: That is exactly what we say as well.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Starting from here, one should see what can be done to abolish the current state of affairs, since the Palestinian people does not have its own administration, and cannot manage its own economic and social development, [and] ensure an independent life.

The idea of a democratic Palestinian state seems in general very appealing, but as far as I know, Palestinians are now scattered on various territories; they live in Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt.

Yasser Arafat: They live in all Arab countries; [you] can even find them in Latin America.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: [I was enquiring about those] territories [where they are] the majority of the population. In these conditions, it remains to be seen how the unity of these forces can be achieved, so as to act independently.

I repeat – this is not [a recent] position that Romania and the Romanian Communist Party adopted; we have always thought it necessary to ensure the Palestinian people the proper conditions to live an independent life. So, from this point of view, we believe that the demand of the Palestinian population is just and we support it.

But to be honest, judging from the way things are going now, I cannot see any prospects for achieving this unity of all these forces. You see, the question of national unity can be posed in various ways, taking into account the historic and concrete conditions of each place.

Many years ago, more than 100 years ago, the Romanian people had its own issues regarding national unity. If we look at other peoples, we can find rather interesting experiences as well, but all this experience has showed that in order to achieve victory, one must spell out the objectives [of the fight] and be clear about [these objectives], and [one must] link this question to a territory [under their control], in which this or that people can independently organize its own life.

Yasser Arafat: How could this be achieved?

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Of course, [to be able to make any suggestions], I must know the situation [on the ground] very well. I told you, I do not know these issues very well, I have never discussed these issues with Palestinian representatives before and it would be hard for me to tell you that the solution is this or that. But to form a state as you conceive it, there must be an agreement with the Israeli, Jewish population, and with the Christians; but there are few Christians [anyway]. So [you must] reach an agreement with Israel.

Yasser Arafat: So [with] Arab [Christians]. Even among the leaders of this revolution one can find these Christians, but they are Arab Christians. If we look at the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, we have two Arab Christians there. The issue for us is not religion, but the question of the nation, of the homeland.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: I understand that, and it is precisely because of the necessity to form the Palestinian people in an orderly fashion that the problem of how to unite the entire Palestinian people and to say – look this is our objective – arises. The final objective is the creation of a multinational democratic state. But this entails that the Palestinian population is completely autonomous – from a cultural and various other points of view. The same [applies] to the Jewish population.

Yasser Arafat: That is exactly what we say as well.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: To get [to that objective], one should start, so to say, with the formation of the Palestinian people as a nation. This also implies a government and a territory, without giving up [to anything], but as a condition for achieving the final objective. I am only talking about this issue in principle. I am not at all saying that this is how it must be done; I do not know the situation well and I am only saying that, from our own experience, and from the experience of other peoples, this was the path [taken]. I am looking at certain African peoples [undergoing the process of] development, the first step towards organization and independence is to form independent states and to govern or to govern themselves.

See I could have told you: you’re right, it is a good slogan. But I did not do so because, if I had not told you what I think, I would not have acted like a communist, like a revolutionary. Take a look at what has happened so far. Palestinians in Jordan were subjected to repression; [those who live] in Lebanon suffered the same [treatment] in certain respects; in Israel the same. So, anyway, this [method] has negative repercussions on successfully waging the struggle and [your] forces are divided and scattered around. If I were a leader of the Palestine Liberation movement, I would start from here.

Yasser Arafat: Still, [I wonder] what can we do [?] Still we live, as comrade [Ceaușescu] just said, in Arab countries; also on the territory occupied by Israel.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: There is still the possibility that on a certain Palestinian territory or on a territory that used to belong to Palestine all these forces or the majority of these forces unite and form their own leadership. Then the struggle and the bargaining power in relation to the Jews and the other Arab states would be different. Of course, there is only one single, united, brotherly Arab nation, but still [they] are constituted as states, and each has its own problems.

I repeat, I do not know the situation [on the ground]. We hope to have a more [detailed] discussion [which would enable us] to understand [your] problems better. And I would like to invite you to come to Romania, and we can sit down and talk for a few days and clarify things, either on the sea shore, or in the mountains.

Yasser Arafat: I am very glad to [receive] this invitation, comrade [Ceaușescu]. This means that comrade [Ceaușescu] and the comrades of the Romanian Communist Party, as well as the Romanian people, are supportive of the Palestinian people’s cause.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: We have been supportive from the beginning. We are the first – and we have the documents to prove it- to say that the conflict in the Middle East cannot be solved without finding and ensuring the [necessary] conditions for the free life of the Palestinian people – and this is not just a formality, we really believe that.

I know people say lots of things about the Romanians; people keep talking; I recently read an article in the Lebanese press about Romania buying planes from Israel; they say we buy or that we sell weapons to Israel. Of course, all this is non-sense and we do not pay attention to [these rumors]. It is true that we have relations with Israel. Israel is a UN member-state, and one day, I will tell you how we see the issue of relations between states, and why we see things this way. Now there is no time. At the same time, we regard the demands of the Palestinian people as just demands. The [main] problem is finding the ways to fulfill this desideratum, and not in the distant future, because [it will not work] to say that 30 years must pass – it is true that in history 30 years is not a lot – but given the conditions in which the Palestinian people live, [they] need to have not a 30-year [time-span to look forward to], but [objectives] which could be achieved in the short run, which would be – as I just said – a first phase in the development and fulfillment of the final goal.

Yasser Arafat: Comrade [Ceaușescu], as I previously said, we know that there is a long and difficult path ahead of the Palestinian people. We fight on multiple levels. I understood that comrade [Ceaușescu] has only generalities to share with us, but what do you have in mind to help the Palestinian people to find a way out of this situation? Is this what you have in mind?

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Yes.

Yasser Arafat: This is an important matter because it is known that such problems cannot be solved without [the help of] friends. Since 1965, we have been in a final phase of our struggle, and we want to find a resolution [to our situation]. We are not militating for war; we are not fascists, but we are fighting for our homeland, for our people, and I believe that if the Romanian people had been in our position, maybe they would have done the same thing. It is a known fact that we kept fighting for the past seven years, and that we have our own weapons. The blows we had been dealt did not silence us, but on the contrary, it reinforces our strength. This was the case of the latest fights in Southern Lebanon. I think you know about them. [We] faced the Israeli armed forces for four days; thousands of bombs shelled our positions. We lost some of our men in those fights, we lost materials, but when fighting, you either lose or you win, you must fight until you reach the goals you were aiming for. We had fought for six days. That does not mean that we fight for the sake of fighting; we fight for the sake of our people. Unfortunately, we do not have legitimacy, since we do not have a territory of our own.

The conditions we experienced have been very harsh, but – as I already mentioned – our people has nothing to lose; imperialist and Zionist forces drove our people to live in tents, and for this reason [our people] is willing to fight. We are not interested in what we could lose, since we do not have much left. Now it is a fact that indeed, we do not have a homeland. May I know, very broadly, what comrade President believes about our homeland, or would you rather we talk about this afterwards?

Tomorrow we are holding a national Palestinian congress. If comrade [Ceaușescu] does not have any objections, I would like to ask comrade President to send his ambassador or a delegate to our congress. We would welcome this.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: With pleasure.

Yasser Arafat: Thank you, comrade. As I already mentioned, we want peace but the only things we hold in our hands are weapons. I do not want to use poetic terms, but our people wants to become a dignified people in this region. I would like to ask comrade President to understand this situation as it is. As I have already said, we want to continue our fight and achieve our objective.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: I know the Palestinian people is a people with traditions, culture, and for this reason it must do everything possible to organize its life independently. To my mind, this is the first thing to tackle. This will add weight to your position and it will create a real basis for continuing the fight and for achieving the final goal, [which is] to create a democratic multinational state. I could not say [do] this or that, because that would mean saying misleading things, as I do not know the reality [on the ground], and I do not do this kind of things. When we give our opinion, we do so only after having documented ourselves, [and] reached some conclusions, but in principle, I believe it is a necessity to achieve the unity of the Palestinian people and to organize its life [in such a way] to assert itself. Therefore, by preserving the current state of affairs, as [the Palestinian] population is scattered all around the world, it cannot assert itself. Of course, it is a people determined to fight, and sacrifice itself, but all [these sacrifices] must be done with a certain outcome [in mind].

I have been in the revolutionary movement for 40 years, since the age of 13, but when we were asking for sacrifices, we had to know why we were asking a people for sacrifices.  Of course, it is well said that ‘we do not have anything to lose’, but this is more a figure of speech, as [eventually] what are fighting for is a free life, and to preserve the life of every human being. Only we care about people. The [purpose of] your fight is precisely to give the Palestinian people a free life, [to enable it] to be the master of its own fate, but one must first find those means [to achieve this goal] so that sacrifices are made only when they must be made. For this reason, it must be seen what can be done to [ensure] a new organizational basis for the Palestinian people. Any liberation movement tends to have its own territory, even a temporary one, to rule itself, to lead itself. Look at South Vietnam, for instance, the fight against the Americans and the reactionary government in Saigon lead to the formation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government on the territory of South Vietnam, which joined the fighting from a different position and with different prospects.

I am talking about this strictly as a matter of principle, because I cannot tell you ‘do this or that’. It must be borne in mind that the Palestinian people must have something to look forward to, and this should be achievable right away. One must reflect and ponder on this. Doing so will strengthen its authority in the world, in international affairs, and so on.

The Palestinian people amounts to 3 million people, a people who, to my knowledge, has many qualities, and you, the people who lead them, must think of ways that would allow them to assert themselves as they ought to. You were right when you said that the fulfillment of the goal you are fighting for cannot be achieved to the detriment of another people, but by seeking ways to draw closer and collaborate. This will grant authority to the Palestinian people, it will win over friends and will create [the right] conditions for the fulfillment of its desires.

This is what I can tell you now.

I agree that one of our representatives attends your congress as an observer, because we do not want to meddle in your internal affairs[;] if you think it is necessary, you can come with a delegation to Romania and we will discuss [these] matters [in more detail], so you can inform us [about what is happening] and then we will see.

Yasser Arafat: As I already mentioned, I welcome this visit. So in principle, there is an agreement on this visit. [The Romanian] comrades know that we must submit this matter to the [approval] of the Central Committee, but we salute your invitation, and we wait for [more] details about this invitation.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Here are the details: you come, we talk, and we establish a cooperation [agreement] and then we decide what to do next.

Yasser Arafat: Thank you, comrade. Thank you for this interest [you take in our movement].

This is a very precious matter for all of our fighters; also, for our people which is seeking for a friend in its march.

You mentioned that you have been in the revolutionary movement for 40 years, and I understand that fighting is not easy. To find a solution, [one] must think hard, especially with respect to the Palestinian revolution which fights on several fronts. Indeed, our division between [different] Arab [states] is a weakness, but despite this weakness, it can also be a strong point, because it allows us to be active in the entire region.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Maybe. 

Yasser Arafat: This is [appropriate] for a certain phase of the struggle, I mean, we turned this weakness into a strong point. Because of this division, the Palestinian people should have been eliminated, but we turned it into a strong point.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Use this strong point to achieve concrete results. It is not in the [interest] of the Palestinian people to maintain this state of affairs for a long time.

Yasser Arafat: Comrade [Ceaușescu], because we know you are one of the important militants on the international arena, I would like to tell you that the conditions of our struggle are the most complex ones, because as a matter of fact this is what the Palestinian question is all about: on the one hand, it is the Arab cause and on the other hand, an international issue. We think this is a complicated issue and we must think very hard about it. There would be two solutions for this question – a military one and a diplomatic one. We are not talking about the military one now, because this would mean destruction; we do not have any limits. We believe in a wide-ranging long-lasting liberation struggle. Please correct me if I am wrong. I believe we should find a diplomatic solution, this entails international interference in our region.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: There is international interference in the region [already].

Yasser Arafat: That is true.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: And, to be honest, [this interference] is not contributing to [finding] a solution to the problems in the Middle East, but it [actually] complicates them.

Yasser Arafat: That is indeed true.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: This is why [one] must see that the Palestinian people can itself play a role [in] solving its own problems. And the first thing [to do], to my mind, is to bring them together, so to say, to [achieve] unity.

To be clear, I like to call a spade a spade: [the Palestinians must be brought together] not under a generic unity like the Liberation Front, but a territorial unity, governed by the people themselves, an administration as such.

Yasser Arafat: But, comrade [Ceaușescu] Isn't there [the possibility] that the US and the USSR strike a deal to our detriment on the occasion of Nixon’s upcoming visit to Moscow?

Nicolae Ceaușescu: I do not think so, because the USSR will not allow it. But I believe it is even more necessary to find a solution to the conflict along the lines I indicated, if you want to prevent the resolution of the conflict behind the back of the Palestinian people. Otherwise, Hussein came with a plan, someone else comes with [another] plan, and so, [your] force crumbles. Why don’t you take matters into your own hands? For the time being, get together and constitute a Palestinian nation with its own government, and starting from this, let us discuss with everybody and get ready for a fight that will bring a comprehensive solution [to your problems]. This would give a different perspective to the Palestinian people, but also in relation with other Arab states and with all the peoples of the world. Then you will be able to sit down and talk.

Yasser Arafat: Yes, it is true, but applying this solution entails many [other] things.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: It is true but you must think about relying on your friends’ support, and it seems to me that this is the objective that can be achieved more easily than any other [objective].

Farouk Kaddoumi: Palestine has two parts – the Western part and the Eastern part. This is Palestinian territory and it is inhabited by Palestinian people. We had Gaza and the West Bank of the Jordan river, where the Palestinians make up 70% of the population, and Israel occupied even these territories.

Yasser Arafat: There are 400,000 Palestinians [in those territories].

Farouk Kaddoumi: Undoubtedly, as comrade [Ceaușescu] said the existence of Palestine implies a territory and a people to inhabit that territory. As far as I understood, this is the problem that comrade Ceaușescu underlined. In this respect, we have two problems – [first] we have the problem Hussein [is posing] and for us, this problem is a matter of time, because American imperialism props him up – and the second problem is the existence of Israeli occupation in these territories. So the path of armed struggle is the only way for us to achieve our goal. What would happen if we announced, for instance, the creation of a provisional Palestinian government?

Nicolae Ceaușescu: [A government] over a fixed territory.

Farouk Kaddoumi: The problem is to have a territory [which] does not include Israel. And this is the problem we are facing [now].

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Initially it will be difficult to include the whole of Israel. This is a clear matter. If we don’t start from here, then [we won’t be able to] direct events on the right path.

Yasser Arafat: Thank you for this discussion.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: I am telling you once again that these are only generalities, I do not know the situation [on the ground] and I do not claim I said all the right things.

Yasser Arafat: So this discussion is about principles, it is an attempt to reach a common denominator.

We welcome any sort of support for our struggle. As you said comrade [Ceaușescu], we fight against imperialism together. I believe that the victory of the Vietnamese people is reinforcement for our struggle.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: I agree with you.

Yasser Arafat: We, as a movement, support many liberation movements in Africa, and this is the best form of support for us. When we receive their help, we act together, because peace and freedom are common causes. From this point of view, I understood very well what comrade President wanted to say. Indeed, without friends we cannot score any victory. This is how the Vietnamese people scored [its] victories. [The Vietnamese people] fights, but without its friends’ help, it would not have achieved anything.

As you said, we must present our people with clear objectives, [we must choose] the path we will take. I agree with what comrade President said that we must not fight for our people to die [purposelessly], but for the achievement of its goals.

Thank you, Mr. President, for everything you told us, for the support you are providing our people with.

I can see it is past 19:30, but this was a very important discussion for us, and we abused your time. We would like to continue this discussion whenever it is possible [to do so], to talk and [help you] understand our thoughts better, so that [you can] support our people even more, which is what our people [needs].

Nicolae Ceaușescu: We will expect you in Bucharest to come and talk [to us]. You were in Yugoslavia; it is another hour from there. If you take the plane, you will have a direct flight, you do not need to stop anywhere. We have our plane which flies directly to [Bucharest]. You get on the plane and in 4 hours you are in Bucharest, where we can sit down and talk in detail, and in 4 more hours you are back. On this occasion, you will get to know something about Romania, about the Romanian people.

Yasser Arafat: Thank you.

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