In 1988, Yasser Arafat met with five American Jewish leaders, with the full knowledge and support of both the American and Swedish governments, to find a formula that would enable the United States to start a dialogue with the PLO and for that body to meet the traditional U.S. conditions for such a dialogue. Two days of talks produced the following statement which was read out by Sweden's Foreign Minister Sten Andersson.
"The Palestinian National Council met in Algiers from November 12 to 15, 1988, and announced the declaration of independence which proclaimed the state of Palestine and issued a political statement.
"The following explanation was given by the representatives of the PLO of certain important points in the Palestinian declaration of independence and the political statement adopted by the PNC in Algiers.
"Affirming the principle incorporated in those UN resolutions which call for a two-state solution of Israel and Palestine, the PNC:
"1. Agreed to enter into peace negotiations at an international conference under the auspices of the UN with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, on equal footing with the other parties to the conflict; such an international conference is to be held on the basis of UN resolutions 242 and 338 and the right of the Palestinian people of self-determination, without the external interference, as provided in the UN Charter, including the right to an independent state, which conference should resolve the Palestinian problem in all its aspects;
"2. Established the independent state of Palestine and accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region;
"3. Declared its rejection and condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, including state terrorism;
"4. Called for a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with international law and practices and relevant UN resolutions (including right of return or compensation)."
Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry