Arab Summit Meeting Opens in Khartoum; Hussein and Nasser Bring Compromises on Israel

The fourth Arab summit meeting, held this time at Khartoum, Sudan, finally convened there today, minus some of the more “revolutionary” Arab rulers, to discuss two principal but related issues: “elimination of the consequences” of Israel’s victory in June’s Six-Day War; and the possibility of measures, including an oil embargo, against the United States, Britain and other nations accused of being supporters of Israel.

Jordan’s King Hussein was the first of the rulers to arrive this morning, followed closely by Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, each of them bringing what they called “compromise” plans for moving Israel’s occupying troops out of the vast areas won by Israel during the war.

Hussein is reportedly proposing that, after Israel evacuates its troops from former Jordanian territory — including the Old City of Jerusalem and the west bank of the Jordan River — Jordan would demilitarize the west bank area, give Israel a corridor for access to the Wailing Wall, and end its state of belligerence against Israel, but not recognize Israel. Hussein also wants, it was reported, to give up insistence on repatriation of the Arab refugees into Israel, but would expect United States aid in the care of the refugees.

The Nasser plan, said to have been proposed to Nasser two weeks ago by Yugoslavia’s President Tito, also calls for Israeli withdrawal from the captured areas. Nasser would reportedly accept international guarantees for Israel’s freedom of shipping through the Strait of Tiran and would “permit” cargoes destined for Israel to pass through the Suez Canal — but not in ships flying the Israeli flag. in return for these “compromise” steps, Nasser was said to be ready to end the state of belligerence against Israel.

(Informed circles in Israel refused to comment on the reports that Nasser was planning an early move toward peace with Israel. Until and if he makes such a move, it was stated here, such a possible overture will draw no official reaction in Jerusalem. If such a move should be made, it was pointed out, the step would have to be viewed in the perspective of the shakiness of the present Egyptian regime.)

Attending the summit meeting are two Kings, five Presidents and one Emir. But conspicuously absent are the Presidents of Algeria and Syria, who object to any concessions whatever to Israel or its purported Western supporters; and President Habib Bourguiba, of Tunis, who last week reiterated his call for Arab recognition of Israel. One of the monarchs at Khartoum is King Hassan II, of Morocco, who is said to call for a more “realistic” and “moderate” solution of the Israeli-Arab issues.

Today’s summit meeting follows earlier gatherings of the chiefs of state held in 1964 and 1965 at Cairo, Alexandria and Casablanca. It was noted today here that neither the Arab League nor the Cairo Government is uppermost in the conduct of the parley in Khartoum. It was also noted that, while neither the Hussein plan nor the Nasser “compromise” is deemed acceptable to Israel at this time, the fact is that for the first time both Nasser and Hussein speak of “concessions” to Israel.

NEXT STORY