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NATO Meeting of Foreign Ministers Concludes with Views on Arab-Israel Conflict

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The Council of Foreign Ministers of the 15 countries associated in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization concluded its two-day meeting here today with a communique expressing satisfaction with the cease-fire reached in the Arab-Israel war and stressing the urgency of humanitarian measures to alleviate the sufferings caused by the war.

The Ministers who attended the meetings expressed the will of their governments to support all efforts aimed at establishing a durable peace in the Middle East. French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville said that the situation was worse now than ever before and that the time was not running in favor of a peaceful settlement. He held little hope for United Nations intervention.

Britain was reported here today to be preparing a four-point Middle East peace plan for the special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly which is expected to open this weekend in New York.

The British plan would seek to direct Assembly efforts toward a package arrangement requiring concessions from both Israel and the Arab countries. It would cover redefinition of frontiers, freedom of navigation, urgent attention to the Arab refugee problem and provisions for a permanent peace by Arab acceptance of Israel’s existence. Anglo-American plans for the Assembly session were discussed in detail by British Foreign Secretary George Brown and Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

Many of the Foreign Ministers attending the NATO session discussed the Middle East situation but there was general agreement with the position of France that NATO should avoid any direct role in forthcoming negotiations on settlement of the new problems created by Israel’s dazzling military victories last week.

Mr. Rusk emphasized , in an address to the NATO Council, that Israel had the right to be recognized as an independent state and to make its existence secure. He also warned that no nation, including the great powers, could order either the Arabs or Israel to do anything for a lasting peace. Both he and Mr. Brown said they did not expect quick solutions to the diplomatic problems following the end of the third Arab-Israel war last Sunday and both agreed that a limitation of arms sales in the Middle East was essential to lasting peace in the area.

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