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Israel’s Attempt to Seek Peace with Arabs Attracts U. N. Attention

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Israel’s relations with the United States and Britain vis-a-vis security in the Middle East, as well as Israel’s impact on world opinion through a series of recent steps intended to show that the Jewish State wants peace with its Arab neighbors are attracting special attention here among the delegates attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Ambassador Abba S. Eban, in his capacity as chief of the Israel delegation to the United Nations, was reported here today to be meeting with the heads of both the American and British delegations. It is understood that he had also asked Andrei Vishinsky, head of the Soviet Union’s delegation, for a meeting, but there is no word as to whether he succeeded in discussing Israeli affairs privately with Mr. Vishinsky.

While Mr. Eban’s meetings with the American and British delegation heads here could be described as “routine” in connection with the Security Council meeting, the effect of these talks on broader problems that had been under discussion in Washington and London is not being overlooked.

It is the opinion in UN circles that the discussions between Mr. Eban and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles have begun to assume some clarity. There have been four such talks to date and further discussions are to take place. Israel has been insisting that the United States and Great Britain take into account some points effecting the Jewish State as a result of the Anglo-Egyptian agreement on the Suez Canal, and as a result of America’s imminent grant of arms to Iraq. Israel argues that both the American and the British Governments have excluded it from any consideration as a sovereign state in the Middle East whose security must be guarded by the Big Powers.

It is understood that Mr. Dulles would have liked, long before this, to issue some sort of statement intended to assure Israel that the U.S. had not forgotten about its interests and its security. However, Israel will not be satisfied with that kind of a statement unless it places Israel on an equal footing with the Arab states, particularly Egypt.

ISRAEL’S ARGUMENTS IN WASHINGTON AND IN LONDON WATCHED

There has been a double-barrelled approach on behalf of Israel toward Dulles in Washington and towards Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden in London. In Washington Mr. Eban’s insistence has been on American clarification of its genuine concern about Israel’s security. In London, Ambassador Eliahu Elath has made the following four points in a note to Mr. Eden:

1. Egypt must not be given added strength in its position against Israel; 2. If Egypt’s strength is increased, a parallel process of military reinforcement must be provided for Israel; 3. The agreement between Britain and Egypt must, if it is to take Israel’s security into account, provide that Egypt’s control of the Suez Canal be based firmly on international law providing for freedom of passage to all shipping; 4. The Anglo-Egyptian agreement is objectionable to Israel in so far as it gives official recognition to the Arab League’s collective security pact — which Israel interprets as a pact of aggression against itself.

The Washington negotiations have so far had the effect of keeping Mr. Dulles from making any statement regarding Israel. However, some diplomatic observers here believe that Israel’s position as expressed by Mr. Eban in his talks with Mr. Dulles would lead eventually to a reaffirmation of the 1950 tripartite declaration and to clothing that declaration with more formal guarantees of Israel’s sovereignty.

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