Netherlands Foreign Minister Says Government Won’t Lobby in Middle East for Peace

The Netherlands Foreign Minister said in Parliament today that his Government will take no steps to try to influence either Israel or the Arab states by trade or political means in connection with peace talks. Dr. Joseph Luns spoke in reply to a Socialist MP who had asked the Government to take measures to further an Arab-Israel understanding. He said it was up to “United Nations members to do everything to ensure (peace envoy) Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring’s success and to avoid any interference with his work.”

(In Tel Aviv, Rumania’s deputy foreign minister George Macovescu left this weekend after two days of talks on the Middle East situation with Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He ended speculation that his country might serve as a mediator between Israel and the Arab states when he told newsmen that “Rumania does not wish to mediate in international conflicts” although it wants peace everywhere. Eban said at a public meeting later that Rumania aims at peace in the Middle East but does not aspire to become a mediator in the Arab-Israel dispute. Speculation on a possible mediation role for Rumania was prompted here by the fact that Mr. Macovescu visited Egypt 10 days before he came to Israel and had talks with President Nasser and Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad. Rumania is the only Communist bloc country that did not sever diplomatic relations with Israel after last June’s Arab-Israel War.)

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