U.N. Debate on Middle East Continues; Holland Favors Direct Arab-israel Talks

J.M. Luns, the Netherlands Foreign Minister, told the special emergency session of the General Assembly today that “mere withdrawal” of Israeli troops from Arab territories could not bring about a durable peace if it was not accompanied by arrangements designed to solve the basic problems of the Middle East,

A final political solution, he added, should be acceptable to all parties. He said also that such a solution should recognize the right to national existence of all states in the Middle East and rights such as those of free passage through international waterways, as well as providing for the settlement of the Arab refugee problem and economic issues, such as the just distribution of the Jordan River waters. He urged also an end to the arms race between states in the region and provision of free access to all the holy places.

He said his delegation could not vote for the Soviet resolution “which puts all the blame on Israel,” ignoring the chain of events preceding the outbreak of war on June 5. The Soviet resolution, he asserted, “would simply put the clock back and put it back to the position where it’s ticking was that of a time bomb,”

Mr. Luns said that the General Assembly was “clearly not the place” where such complex problems could be brought to a solution. He said the parties concerned should undertake negotiations around a conference table, perhaps with the participation of an international organ or other countries. He said the Netherlands favored a special representative of Secretary-General U Thant. who could pave the way for discussions between the Arab states and Israel.

Manuel Aznar of Spain told the Assembly that for the United Nations merely to denounce clear cases of aggression and to react either superficially or not at all was “the road to disaster,” The Arabs should be guaranteed a life based on dignity and justice, he said. He added that, under international law, Israel had “clearly” committed aggression.

NEXT STORY