UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Oct. 8)
The conference at Paris called by the U.N. Conciliation Commission on Palestine to seek peace in the Middle East, has been “stuck” on the preamble to the commission’s peace plan because the Arab States refuse to agree to a clear cut non-aggression agreement, Reuven Shiloah, advisor to the Israel Foreign Ministry, said here today.
(The New York Times reported today from Beirut that Egypt has informed high United Nations officials that there can be no peace with Israel until a land bridge is established through southern Palestine from Egypt to the Arab states in Asia. Responsible Egyptians have indicated that either Egypt or Jordan must have the south ernmost Negev area on and near the Gulf of Aqaba, now held by Israel, before a peace agreement can be reached, the Times dispatch added.)
Shiloah told a press conference that the Arab refusal to agree to the preamble of the Commission’s five point plan for peace, which contained the commission’s proposed non-aggression agreement, was proof that the Arab States were in no mood to discuss the possible solution of any of the outstanding problems between Israel and her Arab neighbors.
The Israeli diplomat cited three possible reasons for the Arab position: 1. The Arab States hoped for a “second round” of fighting against Israel; 2. They took reports of Israel’s economic crisis too seriously; 3 The rule of “pistol and assassination” made Arab leaders afraid to negotiate.
He criticized the commission’s procedure at Paris and said mistakes had been made. The greatest was, he said, the submission of proposals to both parties before sitting down with them and working out an agenda for the meetings. “The sooner we sit down together, the sooner we can come to terms,” Mr. Shiloah said. “But certain things that were offered three years ago cannot be offered now.”