No Talks with USSR on Reopening of Suez Canal, British Spokesman Tells Commons

A Government spokesman said yesterday that Britain does not intend to initiate discussions with the Soviet Government aimed at the early reopening of the Suez Canal to world shipping. Fred Mulley, joint Minister of State of the Foreign Office, spoke in reply to a question in the House of Commons from Laborite member Gwilym Roberts. Mr. Mulley said the Nov. 22, 1967 resolution unanimously adopted by the Security Council, of which the Soviet Union is a permanent member, laid down the principles for a Middle East solution among which was freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area. “It is in the context of such a settlement that I believe the best hope lies for reopening the canal to international shipping,” Mr. Mulley said.

Another Labor MP. Margaret McKay, asked if “in view of Israel’s conquest of Arab lands and occupation in defiance of United Nations resolutions” the Government will seek further action by the UN. Mr. Mulley, replying in writing for the Foreign Secretary, noted that the UN’s special emissary Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring is continuing his peace efforts. “The Government are always ready to support his work by any appropriate means, but recognize no necessity for further initiative by the UN at this time.

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