Eban Rejecting Arab Claims, Tells Assembly Issue is Peace or War
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Eban Rejecting Arab Claims, Tells Assembly Issue is Peace or War

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Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban took the General Assembly floor today to reply to policy declarations by Egypt and the Kingdom of Jordan which he condemned for their failure to reveal any readiness to “renounce the policies of non-recognition, hostility and belligerency which have led to the present situation.” He reminded the Assembly that “there is no recognition whatever in either speech of Israel’s right to security and peace” nor, he added, was there any “understanding of the need to adjust differences by specific settlement.”

Egypt, Mr. Eban declared, had refused outright “to negotiate the liquidation of a war which Egypt itself had provoked, initiated, declared and launched.” The Arab states sought, he said, “the restoration of the June 4 situation ‘without conditions or negotiations,’ that is to say, without peace and without security.”

The foreign minister told the General Assembly: “Israel will not return to the political and juridical anarchy or to the strategic vulnerability from which she has emerged. Apart from cease-fire agreements, we have no valid, contractual engagements with our neighbors at this time. We must now build — not a ramshackle structure based on ambiguity and doubt — but a durable edifice of relations embodied in treaties of peace.”

He challenged Egypt to state when it advocated withdrawal by Israel from the cease-fire line whether it is “simultaneously prepared for the replacement of a state of war by a state of final and durable peace.” In the absence of a positive answer, he said, “the call for withdrawal from the cease-fire line is equivalent to a call for the early renewal of hostilities in the conditions most perilous to Israel’s security.”

Mr. Eban said that it was incorrect to speak of a “six-day war,” reminding the Assembly that “there has been a 19-year war conducted by the Arab states against Israel for the avowed purpose of Israel’s destruction. The issue now is whether this war is going to be liquidated by a final peace settlement or merely interrupted in order to be resumed in conditions more propitious for Arab success.”


Foreign Minister J.N.A.H. Luns of The Netherlands proposed today that the Middle East question be shifted to the Security Council for early debate there and that there be a strengthening of the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations in the Middle East. This could include, he said, appointment of a special U.N. representative there, the dispatch of more observers and, “when desired and accepted by both sides,” the creation of a United Nations buffer force to stand between Israelis and Arabs as an extra guarantee “against a new explosion.”

“All such measures,” Dr. Luns declared, “will have our full support and, if necessary, we are prepared to assist in guaranteeing permanent frontiers, security arrangements and free passage through international waterways.”

The Dutch statesman said it would be “pointless” to continue “aggravating present differences” in the General Assembly debate and stressed that “neither a detente nor a lasting solution will be possible in the Middle East unless, next to both sides, the major powers come to mutually acceptable terms.” He said that he hoped for a “concentrated effort by all parties to create a new and stable order in the Middle East, making possible the peaceful coexistence of countries and nations with all of whom we have age-old ties of close cooperation and friendship.”

The Finnish foreign minister called for negotiations “in a manner acceptable to all the parties” and asserted that the problems of the Middle East cannot be left to be “settled by force of arms.” He called for an Israeli withdrawal and for assurances that all states in the area had the right to live in peace and security.

The foreign minister of Turkey praised the “constructive spirit” in which he said the Arab states were acting and criticized Israel for “continuing to adopt an inflexible stand.” He urged Israel to comply with the General Assembly resolutions on Jerusalem and the refugees.

The foreign ministers of two of the Soviet bloc states — the Ukrainian Soviet Republic and Poland — assailed Israel’s “expansionist policy” and asserted that Israel must not be permitted to profit from acts of aggression. The Ukrainian spokesman said Israel was seeking to retain Arab territories in addition to Jerusalem and warned that until the consequences of Israel’s aggression were eliminated, there could be no peace in the Middle East.

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