JERUSALEM (Oct. 17)
The Israel Government reaffirmed its position today that permanent peace between Israel and the Arab states can be achieved only by direct negotiations. Its stand was made clear after the Cabinet met in special session and heard a detailed report from Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban on developments affecting the situation at the United Nations.
While the Israeli press sought to read a crisis mood into today’s Cabinet meeting, officials said Mr. Eban’s return had been planned for some time and had taken place at the first possible moment following conclusion of the general debate in the UN General Assembly. Mr. Eban arrived here last night from New York and will return this weekend. He is to meet Secretary of State Dean Rusk in Washington next Monday.
An official spokesman indicated in response to questions that Israel would not oppose the appointment of a United Nations special representative in the Middle East whose function it would be to bring both sides to the negotiating table. But he made it clear that Israel would not accept appointment of a mediator as seems contemplated by some delegations at the United Nations.
Asked if the UN representative would participate in the negotiations, once they got under way, a spokesman replied that, that question could be dealt with if and when the Arabs agreed to negotiate.
The official statement issued by the Prime Minister after the Cabinet meeting stated that Israel would continue to strengthen her position in accordance with the vital interests of her security and development.