WASHINGTON (Aug. 18)
The Washington Post reported today, in a dispatch from Paris which cited confidential information from Egyptian Foreign Ministry sources, that Egypt was seeking to keep the mediation mission of United Nations Middle East envoy Gunnar V.Jarring alive but only for propaganda purposes and to prevent an actual peaceful settlement.
The report, filed by correspondent Alfred Friendly, said that Egypt feared that if the Jarring mission failed, Palestinian Arabs in the occupied West Bank might come to terms with Israel. The Post published what it described as a complete account of a staff meeting held last May at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry offices in Cairo, addressed by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad at which a basic Egyptian strategy was outlined aimed at mobilizing world opinion to force the United States to end its support of Israel.
According to Friendly, Egypt announced acceptance of the Nov. 22, 1967 Security Council resolution for a Middle East settlement as part of its efforts to portray Israel as the aggressor. Riad purportedly told the staff meeting that Egypt’s diplomatic goal was to isolate Israel, identify Israel as the aggressor and force the United States to pressure Israel to withdraw from all occupied Arab territories. The dispatch quoted Riad as saying he was convinced that the purported Egyptian effort could succeed, and that Norway and Sweden allegedly had been convinced by Egyptian arguments that Egypt could not trust any peace treaty with Israel.