UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Jun. 18)
The special session of the United Nations General Assembly, convened at the request of the Soviet Union, seeking U.N. condemnation of Israel as an "aggressor" and the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops behind the 1949 armistice lines, will come into full force tomorrow morning with representatives of the United Sates, the Soviet Union, the United Arab Republic and Israel listed as the first speakers.
An hour prior to the opening of the U.N. Assembly session, President Johnson will address the nation over radio and television on the crisis in the Middle East. In an address last Friday at Austin, Texas, he said that each nation in the Middle East "must accept the right of its neighbors to stable and secure existence" and appeared to be endorsing the Israeli position that there can be no return to the conditions that existed before this month’s Arab-Israel war.
The first speaker before the General Assembly tomorrow will be Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. He had already announced that the United States is participating in the present session of the Assembly on the explicit understanding that "every problem and every proposal that was before the Security Council in its proceedings on the Middle East is now before the General Assembly." He indicated opposition to the Soviet request that condemnation of Israel and the withdrawal of Israeli forces should be the only questions on which the General Assembly should act. He made it clear that the U.S. Government considers that the purpose of this session is "to reach for a reasonable, just and peaceful solution" of the Arab-Israel situation.
Mr. Goldberg’s mention of the proposals before the Security Council referred, among other issues, to three draft resolutions presented to the Council by the United States, all of them aimed toward direct Israeli-Arab talks with the help, if they so desire, of any other third party.
Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin, who came from Moscow with a staff of more than 40 people to present the Soviet view on the Arab-Israel conflict before the Assembly, may follow Mr. Goldberg in tomorrow’s debate. However, it is also possible that he may delay his address which he came to deliver, and have either Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko or Ambassador Nikolai Fedorenko speak tomorrow. Other speakers tomorrow will be Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Egypt’s representative, Ambassador Mohammed A. El-Khony.
EBAN OUTLINES ISRAEL’S STAND; ASSAILS THE SOVIET UNION SHARPLY
Israel’s position was indicated by Mr. Eban prior to his leaving Jerusalem for the session of the General Assembly. He took sharp issue with the Soviet Union and charged Moscow with having contributed toward stimulating the Arab war against Israel. The USSR, he said, should not pose as "the judge" in the present crisis but should, instead, "be in the dock."
Regarding the Soviet Union’s demand that Israel withdraw unconditionally and immediately from the Arab areas it has won in the war, and return to the 1949 armistice lines, Mr. Eban said: "No power on earth can turn back the clock of history. Israel will not waste the gains it won because of Arab aggression."