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Golda Meir Proposes at U.N. a Six-point Program for Middle East

Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, laid down before a plenary session of the General Assembly yesterday a six-point program for lessening existing tensions in the Middle East and “allay the fears of armed conflict.” On behalf of Israel’s Government, she proposed that the governments in the area pledge themselves:

“1. To respect the political independence and territorial integrity of all the states of the region; 2. Not to interfere in the internal affairs of any other state; 3. To renounce the threat or use of force; 4. To abandon policies and practices of belligerency, including boycott and blockade; 5. To settle all disputes by peaceful means; 6. To enter into negotiations with the object of achieving complete disarmament with mutual inspection, covering all types of weapons. “

Mrs. Meir’s address to the Assembly washer first appearance on the podium during this session, although she has been here since September 25. She spoke to a capacity attendance during the Assembly’s “general debate,” a procedure giving Foreign Ministers and other delegation heads the opportunity of outlining the overall foreign policies of their respective governments. After her half-hour address, she received loud and prolonged applause from diplomats in the Assembly auditorium, while many delegation chairmen rose to greet her and shake her hand as she walked the long middle aisle on her way back to her seat in the Assembly.

NOTES INCREASED MIDDLE EAST TENSION; CITES ARAB THREATS TO ISRAEL

Mrs. Meir noted increasing tensions in the Middle East in the last year, saying that the tensions, often involving Israel, were mainly due to inter-Arab conflicts and struggles. Israel, she said, has been the main target of belligerency. She recalled that Israel’s four armistice agreements in 1949 were intended to end conflicts and to be a transition toward full peace.

“Yet, 14 years later, ” she told the Assembly, “our Arab neighbors still openly declare themselves to be in a state of war with Israel, and are constantly threatening to attack it. What is more, hostility is becoming heavily armed. A constant stream of weapons, of a more and more modern and lethal character, is being unloaded in the ports of Arab countries at the very moment when their representatives plead from this rostrum for peace and disarmament. Mercenary German scientists and technicians are hired by Egypt to develop non-conventional weapons of mass destruction, and rockets are paraded in the streets of Cairo with public boasts by its President that they can strike at any point in Israel. Simultaneously, a massive military build-up of conventional arms is proceeding.”

Mrs. Meir stressed that if Israel were to be attacked, it would know how to defend itself effectively. “But Israel is not seeking a military victory. Our objective is the prevention of war and the preservation of peace,” she said. She pointed out that the rapidly escalating arms race in the Middle East gravely endangers the peace and stability of the area. “At the same time, it consumes the precious and limited resources so urgently needed to lift large parts of its inhabitants from the depths of poverty, illiteracy and disease, ” she emphasized.

Mrs. Meir hit at the Soviet Union’s persecution of Jews in the USSR, but avoided mentioning the Soviet Union by name. She told the Assembly: “There is one large Jewish community today that is not permitted freely to practice its religion, to attend to its spiritual needs, or to develop its cultural life–whose observance of traditions carries with it punishment and suffering– and that must witness our Holy Scriptures and the language in which it was handed on through the generations, abused and suppressed.”

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