LONDON (Feb. 23)
Abba Eban, Israel’s Foreign Minister, declared here today that the Israel Government would like the four major world powers–the United States, Britain, France and the USSR–“to support the principle of no territorial change” in the Middle East. Mere reiteration of the 1950 Tripartite Declaration, in which the three Western powers joined to guarantee the integrity of the borders of Israel and the Arab states, would be insufficient at this time, he stated.
“What we ask,” he said, “is for Israel to be given the means of assuring her own safety. And we ask the four great powers to express their readiness to help any state in the Middle East whose integrity and security are threatened.”
Mr. Eban, who has been in London all week, made that statement at a luncheon given in his honor by the Foreign Press Association. Among his activities here was a principal address at the annual dinner of the Joint Palestine Appeal, the British equivalent of the United Jewish Appeal. There he said that Israel “invites” the four major powers to cooperate in their Middle East policies and specifically requested the Soviet Union to apply its European policy regarding existing frontiers to the Middle East as well.
Mr. Eban met here with Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown, and leaders of the Conservative and Liberal parties. In his separate talks with Mr. Wilson and Mr. Brown, the Israeli Foreign Minister said, he had found “a mutual desire to deepen and extend bilateral relations,” both showing “in a very cordial atmosphere, much knowledge and understanding for Israel.”
As for the Arab states, Mr. Eban told the JPA event, “three of Israel’s neighbors have been avoiding a military confrontation, leaving only Syria as the question mark.” In an interview over the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Eban predicted that there will probably be no “sudden peace” in the Middle East, but added that it was unlikely that there would be war, since “nothing is impossible in the Middle East, but nothing is inevitable.”