Couve De Murville Says Big Power Agreement Vital to Mideast Solution
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Couve De Murville Says Big Power Agreement Vital to Mideast Solution

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Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville of France gave notice to the United Nations General Assembly today that there could be no solution to the Middle East problem without an agreement among the leading powers. He warned Israel against protracted delay in reaching a settlement with the Arab states and challenged the Israeli view that developments would eventually compel the Arab states to come to the negotiating table.

The French diplomat reiterated the stand taken by President de Gaulle ever since the current situation erupted in crisis last May, and added that the United Nations itself must have an important role to play in the situation. The tasks of surveillance, control or liaison, of formulating reasonable suggestions and of persuading both sides, he said, were the U.N. mission under the present circumstances.

M. de Murville said “each of the states involved has the right to live and to see its security guaranteed.” Other problems involved, he said, were navigation, the situation of the Palestinian refugees and the “conditions of neighborhood” between the states. He said that no fait accompli with regard to territory or population “should be considered or accepted.”


The immediate question, the French Foreign Minister asserted, was “of knowing whether and to what extent it would be possible to emerge from the immobilism that has marked the situation since the cease-fire, for no one can think of benefiting in the long run from the perpetuation of the status quo,” Prolongation of the present conditions, he suggested, would permit upheaval and agitation to breed, “external powers would tend to confront one another with opposed policies and actions” and the Arab world would be delayed “in its efforts to surmount a trauma whose internal and external effects are far from being exhausted.”

As for Israel, he argued, “this would mean perpetuating, if not worsening the abuses inherent in conquest, the daily incidents and, consequently, the insecurity that it has known during the 20 years of its existence as a state,” It would put off, if not make forever impossible, he said, a settlement under which one day Moslems and Jews could “live at last side by side in a pacified Middle East where they would be reconciled.”

“Can we really think,” he asked the Israelis, “that, in order to achieve this, today or later, the road to follow could be none other than that of direct negotiations and without intermediaries between the Israel Government on the one hand, and each of the Arab governments concerned on the other?” He advised the Israelis that “equal courage and as much perspicacity or foresightedness are needed to surmount a victory as to surmount a defeat.”

Foreign Minister Paul Economou-Gouras of Greece condemned Israeli measures “annexing” Jerusalem, and called for a political solution for the crisis in the Middle East. He supported the plan to appoint a United Nations representative to the Middle East.

Deputy Prime Minister Frank Aiken of Ireland said that it was clearly within the power of the Secretary-General to designate a personal representative to the Middle East and no further authorization was required for this purpose.

The representative of Burundi, an African state, told the Assembly that “Israel should never have been recognized by the United Nations.”

Adam Malik, Foreign Minister of Indonesia, told the Assembly that “we remain convinced that the first step and the only path to peace is the withdrawal of Israeli troops to the lines that existed prior to June 5,”

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