Diplomats See Eban Note on Terrorism As Criticism of Thant
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Diplomats See Eban Note on Terrorism As Criticism of Thant

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Diplomatic observers here today interpreted a note from Israel’s Foreign Minister as implicitly criticizing Secretary-General U Thant for apparently failing to take action aimed at halting terrorism by guerrillas based in Arab nations. Mr. Eban said in a letter delivered Thursday that after the Feb. 18 terrorist attack on an El Al airliner in Zurich, he had asked Ambassador Yosef Tekoah to request that Mr. Thant pose certain questions to Arab Governments. These included “whether they would dissociate themselves from such attacks and take the required steps against their organizers and perpetrators,” the latest letter said. “I regret that these questions were not conveyed.”

(The Washington Post’s UN correspondent Robert Estabrook reported that “Mr. Thant is understood to have been in touch privately with representatives of the countries concerned, but the public Israeli demand undoubtedly ended any chance of useful action through these channels.”)

Mr. Eban’s note said terrorism and irregular warfare were as much violations of the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast resolution as were regular military hostilities, and termed terrorism a major factor “retarding progress toward a peaceful settlement.”

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