UNITED NATIONS, N.Y (Oct. 9)
A non-aggression pact was offered today to the Arab countries by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, addressing the United Nations General Assembly. She also proposed that the UN start the Job of attaining general and complete disarmament by using the Middle East “as a pilot project for the solution of the overall problem.”
The Israel Foreign Minister also offered “regional cooperation” with the neighboring Arab countries in development programs, particularly with regard to water resources. She addressed the UN Assembly not only on Israel-Arab issues but also on various other major problems facing the current session of the General Assembly.
Mrs. Meir’s 90-minute speech was loudly applauded by many delegations, including a number of representatives of the new African and Asian nations. It was an address which was seen as observing Mrs. Meir’s own plea for the avoidance of “bellicose” propaganda and threatening verbal attacks against any and all nations.
Above all, Mrs. Meir pleaded with the General Assembly to re-establish and reaffirm universal acceptance of the principle of negotiation on all international issues. “If this Assembly,” she said, “will succeed in rededicating itself to the universal and total implementation of the principle of negotiation–then, indeed, it will be a historic Assembly.”
SAYS ISRAEL WILLING TO NEGOTIATE WITH ARABS ON EVERY ISSUE
All issues, she asserted, including those dividing the Arab States from Israel, can be settled by negotiation. She expressed Israel’s readiness and willingness to negotiate with the Arab states on every issue at dispute between them. Israel’s belief, is, she emphasized, that negotiation “is the only alternative to war.”
“For our part, we remain ready to negotiate at any time or place, with any Arab leader, and without prior conditions, in order to settle the differences between us,” Mrs. Meir stressed. Pending “the willingness of the Arab governments to conclude a final peace settlement,” the Israeli Foreign Minister told the Assembly there are no steps that could be taken “to relax tensions, allay mutual fears and pave the road to peace.”
These steps, she said, include “an Arab-Israel non-aggression pact, the parties to which would undertake to respect each other’s territorial integrity and political independence, to refrain from all hostile acts of a military economic or political character, to settle all existing and future differences by pacific means, and to cease incitement and inflammatory propaganda.”
Mrs. Meir told the Assembly it “must not minimize the dangers of Arab belligerence and its implications not only for Israel but for the United Nations and world peace.” She pointed to the touchy Arab refugee problem–which is the only, major Arab-Israeli issue on the agenda for debate at the current Assembly session–as a dangerous situation. “The Arab refugees,” she asserted, “are being kept as a potential spear-head for another attack on Israel.”
REFERS TO ARAB REFUGEE PROBLEM; ANTICIPATES DETAILED DISCUSSION
Saying Israel’s delegation would discuss the refugee problem in detail later, when it arises before the Assembly’s Special Political Committee, Mrs. Meir declared: “I would, however, say this–the number of Arabs, who upon the prompting of their leaders, left the area which is Israel today, is about equal to the number of Jewish refugees who came to Israel from Arab countries. We received these Jewish refugees as our brothers, took care of them and rehabilitated them. Had the Arab countries acted likewise–the Arab refugee problem would no longer be with us.”
Mrs. Meir pleaded with all governments, large and small, to adhere to the principles that the only alternative to war is negotiation. The smaller countries, she said, should not only exhort the major powers to negotiate, but “we have a duty to practice ourselves what we say to the larger” states. “Let no one of us.” she urged, “preach the duty of negotiation to others–whilst, at the same time, refusing to apply in to conflicts in which he himself is involved.”
She asked all member states of the United Nations to enter “a formally banding instrument by which each government would unreservedly pledge itself to implement certain basic