Soviet Government Denounces Israeli ‘provocations’, Warns of Serious Consequences

The Soviet Union issued a strong new warning today that Israeli policy may have serious consequences for peace in the Middle East. In an unusual news conference, called by the Soviet Foreign Ministry in Moscow, the press department chief, Leonid Zamyatin, charged Israel with dangerous provocations against her Arab neighbors. He reiterated Soviet position in support of the Arab nations and demanded that the United Nations Security Council resolution of Nov. 22, 1967 be put into effect. The Russians interpret the resolution to call for Israel’s withdrawal from occupied Arab territory.

Zamyatin said the only obstacle to Middle East peace is “the attitude of the Israeli Government, which is supported by certain circles in the United States.” He said that “were it not for this support, Israel wouldn’t dare to ignore in such an impudent manner, the decisions of the UN and to challenge this international organization to which, by the way, Israel is obliged for her very existence.”

A statement distributed by Tass, the official Soviet news agency, following the Foreign Ministry press conference quoted the Soviet Government as stating that it was “the duty of all peace-loving nations to take effective measures to prevent a dangerous new explosion” and it warned Israel of the “serious responsibility” it bears.

The statement said “the Soviet Union deems it necessary to most resolutely warn the Government of Israel of the serious responsibility it is bearing for the consequences of its dangerous provocations against the United Arab Republic, Jordan and Syria.”

(Commenting in Rome today on the Russian warning, Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban said that Moscow was “delivering its message to the wrong address.” and that Israel was not responsible for Middle East tension.)

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