Foreign Minister Eban Presents Israeli Program for Peace to General Assembly
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Foreign Minister Eban Presents Israeli Program for Peace to General Assembly

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Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel proposed a program for peace with the Arab states before the United Nations General Assembly today. Its focal point was a declaration of readiness “to replace cease-fire lines by permanent, secure and recognized boundaries between Israel and each of the neighboring Arab states and to carry out the disposition of forces in full accord with the boundaries agreed under the final peace.” Mr. Eban said that “by this means, the central purpose of the Security Council resolution of Nov. 22. 1967 will be fulfilled.”

(A highly placed American diplomatic source said today that the Soviet Union has indicated that it would open arms limitations talks in the Middle East only after Israel withdraws from occupied territories. See related stories on Page 4.)

The Foreign Minister said, however, that for peace to come to the region, all states involved must meet for negotiations. He said Israel was ready to exchange “ideas and clarifications on certain matters of substance through Dr. Jarring with any Arab governments” willing to establish peace with Israel. He urged the Arab states to acknowledge and recognize the sovereignty, integrity and right to national life of Israel, principles that were expressed in the Nov. 22 resolution. He said they should be fulfilled through specific contractual agreements between Israel and the Arab states, adding that, “It follows logically that the Arab governments will withdraw all the reservations which they have expressed in adhering to international conventions about the non-applicability of their signatures to their relations with Israel.”

Mr. Eban said, however, that “to seek a change in the cease-fire dispositions without the framework for a just and lasting peace and the determination of agreed boundaries is an irrational course for which there is no international authority or precedent.” He warned that “this would be a short and certain route to renewed war in conditions hostile to Israel’s security and existence.”

In the course of his address, the Israeli Foreign Minister called on Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad to join Israel in recognizing that the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba, as international waterways, should provide free and equal rights of passage for all nations. including Israel and Egypt.


He called for the convening of a conference of Middle East states, in advance of a peace settlement, to draft a five-year plan to solve the Arab refugee problem, in collaboration with the governments contributing to refugee relief and with the specialized agencies of the UN. Mr. Eban also proposed the establishment of Joint Refugee Integration and Rehabilitation Commissions to approve agreed projects for refugee integration in the Middle East with regional and international aid.

Discussing the Jerusalem question, the Foreign Minister declared that Israel does not seek unilateral jurisdiction over Christian and Moslem Holy Places and was prepared to define a status giving “effect to the universal character” of the Holy Places. He said, “We would like to discuss appropriate agreements with those traditionally concerned. Our policy is that Christian and Moslem Holy Places should come under the responsibility of those who hold them in reverence.”

Mr. Eban said that in each of the peace points, Israel has elaborated “detailed views and ideas” which it would discuss with the neighboring states in “a genuine exchange of views.” He said no Arab government has yet addressed itself to Israel in similar detail. He stated that ‘the situation to follow a cease-fire must be a just and lasting peace, duly negotiated and contractually expressed.”

“in addition to the establishment of agreed territorial boundaries, we should discuss other agreed security arrangements designed to avoid the kind of vulnerable situation which caused the breakdown of the peace in the summer of 1967. “Mr. Eban said. “The instrument establishing peace should contain a pledge of mutual non-aggression.”

Mr. Eban proposed an open frontier in the Middle East in line with those developing within communities of states in parts of Western Europe. “When agreements are reached on the establishment of peace with permanent boundaries, the freedom of movement now existing in the area, especially in the Israel-Jordan sector, should be maintained and developed,” he said. He added that within this concept, Israel would include free port facilities for Jordan on Israel’s Mediterranean coast and mutual access to places of religious and historic associations.

The Foreign Minister announced that in view of the approaching winter season, his Government has decided to speed up the family reunion plan by which refugees can be reunited with their families. He said Israel would process “hardship cases” among refugees who crossed to the East Bank of the Jordan River during the June war of last year. He also said that permits to return which have been granted and not used can be transferred to other refugees “who meet the same requirements and criteria of the original recipients.”

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