UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Oct. 22)
Egypt has replied to an aide memoir on Israel’s peace views submitted last week by Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban to Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring, the UN peace envoy.
According to informed sources, the reply, handed to Dr. Jarring by Egyptian foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad, contains some “positive” elements-from the Israeli viewpoint-among them reiteration of Cairo’s full acceptance of the Nov. 22, 1967 Middle East peace resolution and assurance that Egypt would continue to work through the Jarring mission for peace. It also contains a request, it was understood, that Israel apologize for the June, 1967 “aggression.”
Western sources indicated that Mr. Riad had “leaked” the contents of the Egyptian reply to the United States, British, Canadian, Dutch and Italian delegations here, and that there was “disappointment and dissatisfaction” with the contents.
There are also some negative elements-also from the Israeli position. The Egyptian reply is said to make no mention of peace or recognized borders. Nor does it mention passage through the Suez Canal or refer to rights of sovereignty and national independence-all elements of the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 peace resolution.
Meanwhile, on another front, it was learned here today that Dr. Jarring is not averse to moving the base of his operations to Geneva-and possibly Stockholm. Dr. Jarring was said to be desirous of escaping the “fish bowl” atmosphere of the UN where correspondents and other interested parties are constantly probing to learn about the progress of his mission, which the UN wants to keep secret.
UN observers believe however that he would not leave his 38th floor office here so long as Middle East foreign ministers are in New York for the current General Assembly session and make his work, at least physically, easier than it was when he rode the Middle East circuit of capitals from his Nicosia, Cyprus, headquarters. According to well-informed sources, Dr. Jarring prefers Geneva. where the UN has an establishment, to Nicosia. He also has a home in Stockholm and has evinced interest in possibly removing the mission there. It is understood that Israel approves of both possible moves.
There is evidence that the long-stalled Israel-Arab talks have gained some momentum in recent weeks, and so long as it lasts Dr. Jarring would not be likely to change his venue. Dr. Jarring is known to be lonely, living pretty much a hotel life and away from his family since he agreed to give up temporarily, his post as Sweden’s Ambassador to Russia when asked to serve the UN by U Thant.
(Mr. Eban flew to Israel from New York tonight and was expected to confer with the highest Government officials on his talks at the UN and in Washington. After next Sunday’s Cabinet session, where the Israeli-Arab conflict is expected to be thoroughly aired, he will return to New York, where he is expected by Dr. Jarring.)