The PLO denied Wednesday it was willing to accept a Palestinian state comprising something less than the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Bassam Abu Sharif, chief political adviser to PLO chief Yasser Arafat, told state-run Jordan radio that an earlier statement attributed to him by Britain's Sky News was "absolutely not true and a groundless report."Sky News and the British Broadcasting Corp. in London had quoted Abu Sharif as saying the PLO would accept something less than the complete West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to get Israel to the negotiating table. The reports also quoted Abu Sharif as saying the PLO was dropping its demand to negotiate with Israel on an equal footing - reports Abu Sharif also later denied.
In the Jordan radio interview, Abu Sharif reiterated his organization's support for U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for Israel to withdraw from lands it captured during the 1967 Middle East war in return for Arab-Israeli peace.
"It is unfortunate that these (Western) organizations are trying to distort our positions," he said.
"What we said is that we expect the implementation of U.N. resolutions 242 and 338 fully and that remains a main condition from the Palestinian people," Abu Sharif added.
He said Palestinian leaders who met with Secretary of State James A. Baker III in Jerusalem had made clear "the PLO's continued representation of the Palestinian people and that there will not be alternative leadership."