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Discount Hussein Interview As ‘peace’ Talk Bereft of Meaningful Action

An interview in which King Hussein of Jordan disavowed Jordanian responsibility for the Nov. 22 explosion in the Machane Yehudah vegetable market in Jerusalem and spoke of the need to embark on a “new phase” of peace in the Middle East was discounted in political circles today as another example of talk not backed up by action. The King was interviewed in Amman by Solomon Steckoll, resident correspondent in Israel for the Toronto Star. The taped interview was broadcast over Kol Israel radio yesterday and was featured prominently in Israeli newspapers.

King Hussein said the time had come to pursue peace but claimed that Israel “has not made its own contribution to peace.” He said Jordan could not forego its rights in Jerusalem nor was his Government willing to hold face-to-face talks with Israelis. He did not rule out the possibility that the Security Council’s Middle East resolution of Nov. 22, 1967 could be “implemented” through the good offices of Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring. United Nations’ peace emissary. Observers here noted that Hussein had used the same words a few months ago published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Jordan never followed through with action designed to achieve peace and has concluded an agreement with Arab guerrilla organizations giving them a free hand for sabotage incursions into Israel, they said.

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