WASHINGTON (Mar. 6)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel told an American journalist in Tel Aviv that his government has determined from various sources that the Egyptian Government is not prepared to make peace with Israel on terms even remotely acceptable to it.
According to Washington Post correspondent Alfred Friendly, Mr. Eban said that public statements by Egyptian leaders indicating no desire for peace with Israel were substantiated by reports of the Egyptian position relayed to Israel by United Nations envoy Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring.
“In fact,” Mr. Friendly quoted Mr. Eban as saying, “in the last few days the governments which are in closest contact with us have told us very frankly that they do not now believe that the UAR (Egypt) is ready for a peace with us on terms that Israel would accept or that friendly governments would advise us to accept.” Mr. Eban did not specify the “friendly governments”, Mr. Friendly reported, “but the presumption is that they are the United States and Britain.”
(The State Department denied today that the U.S. was one of the “friendly governments.”)
The Foreign Minister stressed Israel’s belief that the Arab governments still exercise control over the various terrorist organizations and could make peace over their opposition because the guerrillas’ political power would ” dwindle at the negotiation stage and wither away at the settlement stage.” He said Israel could not solve the Arab refugee problem but could contribute to international steps to settle it.