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United States Reported in Israel to Have Rejected Soviet 4-point Peace Program

The United States has rejected the Soviet Union’s recent four point proposal for a Middle East solution, informed sources said today. Secretary of State Dean Rusk stated this position unequivocally to Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban at a New York meeting this week, the sources said. Mr. Rusk is said to have told Mr. Eban that the U.S. stands by previous assertions that only a settlement acceptable to both parties in the conflict would bring peace, while the Soviet proposal would have imposed a solution from outside. Israel rejected the Soviet proposal.

The Soviet plan would have imposed a timetable, starting with Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-June, 1967 boundaries, followed by a declaration of non-belligerence by the Arabs, a return of United Nations forces to the evacuated territories, and a four-power peace guarantee by the U.S., Soviet Union, Britain and France. France was the only major Western power which showed some inclination to accept the Soviet plan as a basis for discussions, sources said. They noted that Paris had been insisting for the past year that only a four-power agreement could solve the Middle East impasse; that element in the Soviet plan appealed to them.