Larsen's Statements Spark War of Words Between PLO, UN

NEW YORK - The PLO observer in the UN, Nasser al-Kidwa, distributed an internal document Tuesday that included an unbridled attack on Terje Larsen, UN special envoy to the Middle East.

The attack came after a briefing on Tuesday to the Security Council, which is to meet today to discuss the International Court's recommendation on the separation fence, in which Larsen accused Yasser Arafat of causing the failure of attempts by Egypt and the international community to implement reforms in the Palestinian Authority security establishment.

On hearing that Arafat had declared Larsen unwelcome in the PA, U.S. ambassador to the UN John Danforth telephoned the Security Council, asking, "What does it mean? That the UN designated person dealing with the Middle East and representative with respect to the Quartet is persona non grata?"

The deputy head of Israel's UN mission, Arieh Mekel, told Haaretz, "Al-Kidwa is used to the UN automatically taking the Palestinian position and it's difficult for him to accept balanced statements such as those included in Larsen's briefing."