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Eshkol Insists Lasting Peace is Achievable Only by Direct Negotiations

Premier Levi Eshkol rejected today any Middle East settlement through guarantees by the United Nations or from foreign countries or any other “nebulous arrangements” and insisted that there was no substitute for an open peace treaty achieved by direct talks between Israel and the Arabs.

The Premier spoke at a Labor Party secretariat meeting and said his words were meant for the world at large, including small and large powers, individuals and movements. He called for a peace treaty “stable and unambiguous, achieved by direct talks” to bring real peace “and real acceptance by our neighbors” with secure borders. Until such a peace was achieved, he added, Israel would carry the burden of ensuring peace and security “as we do today.”

He reported that since the June war last year, the Strait of Tiran had been open to all ships and that in recent days, almost a ship per day had passed through the Strait to the port of Akaba “at a time when Jordan harassed us not a little and gave bases for El Fatah men even in the Gulf of Akaba area.”

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