Secret Agreement on Middle East Between Johnson and Kosygin Reported by Yugoslavia

Official circles in Belgrade, capital of Yugoslavia, believe that the Middle East crisis has been “effectively sealed off” through a secret understanding reached by President Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin during their recent conferences at Glassboro. N.J., The Sunday Observer here, as well as newspapers in India, reported today from Belgrade.

Details of this understanding have recently been made known to the Middle East states directly concerned, as well as to other powers, such as Britain, India and Yugoslavia, which have a special interest in the Middle East. the reports said. They quoted Yugoslav officials as stating that President Johnson and Premier Kosygin had agreed on the following points aimed at prevention of the outbreak of more warfare in the Middle East:

1) The desirability of direct negotiations between the Arab states and Israel; 2) Israel’s gradual withdrawal of its military forces to the prewar frontiers, except for some minor border adjustments — the withdrawal to be matched by Arab recognition of Israel; 3) Israel to be guaranteed security and freedom of navigation through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Tiran; while Israel, in turn, is to guarantee the prewar Arab borders; 4) the Soviet Union and the United States are to stop shipping arms to either the Arab states or Israel, and both powers are to underwrite the peace settlement.

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