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No Progress Made on Peace with Arab Countries, Israel’s Foreign Minister Reports

“The crisis created by the birth of Israel is not over,” Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett declared in Parliament last night during a report on Israel’s current foreign policy. Mr. Sharett also outlined Israel’s role at the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly, dwelling particularly on the situation in respect to Jerusalem.

The principal question still to be settled in relation to Israel’s foreign policy is that of peace with its Arab neighbors, the Foreign Minister said, but added that there has been no progress on the issue. He warned the Arab states that Israel is prepared “to clasp every hand stretched out to it, but will vigorously fight attempts at revenge.”

In an evaluation of the accomplishments of the U.N. Conciliation Commission for Palestine, he said that its purpose had been “baulked by the fact that the U.N. had not imposed clear obligations on the parties concerned to enter into direct negotiations.” The Arabs have fought bitterly against direct negotiations and therefore it would have been a “miracle” if the Commission’s efforts had succeeded, he stated, pointing out that “the fate of peace is at the discretion of the rulers of the neighboring states.”

Mr. Sharett also reviewed the efforts of the Israel Government to drive home to the nations of the world the fact that Jerusalem has become the de facto capital of the Jewish state. He expressed the opinion that the point was finally realized at the last session of the General Assembly.

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