Eban Says Parties to Mideast Conflict Must Decide on Contents of Any ‘package’ Deal
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Eban Says Parties to Mideast Conflict Must Decide on Contents of Any ‘package’ Deal

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Foreign Minister Abba Eban said in a radio interview yesterday that even if the Soviet Union agreed to a “package deal” on a Middle East settlement, the contents of the package could be decided only by the parties to the conflict. Mr. Eban spoke in reply to a question concerning the announcement last week by Secretary of State William P. Rogers that there had been some measure of agreement at the Big Four Mideast talks, the most important being that Moscow now agrees that there must be a package deal.

The term “package deal” has been used to describe an agreement by which the terms of the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast resolution would be implemented simultaneously rather than piecemeal. The Soviets and Arabs have insisted that Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories must precede implementation of any of the other terms contained in the resolution. Mr. Eban said Israel will insist on a comprehensive peace settlement and rejected the notion of a partial settlement.

Premier Golda Meir said this weekend that Israel did not go to war in June, 1967 to conquer land or “liberate areas with which we have historic ties” but only “for our existence–that the nation should not be annihilated.” Speaking at a meeting of her Labor Party political committee, Mrs. Meir added that “peace is not around the corner and we do not know when it will come.” She made her comments in reference to differences between Labor Party secretary general Pinhas Saphir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan on the future of the administered Arab areas.

“We are debating annexation or not annexation as if this is the question on which peace would rest,” she declared, adding that Israel’s struggle with the Arab countries “is not over areas but on the elementary issues of our existence. We want to live here and they do not want us anywhere.”

Reiterating her opposition to the Big Four talks, Mrs. Meir expressed “astonishment” that the U.S. was sitting down for talks with the Russians, “the profound enemy of Israel,” which is actually “responsible for war in the Middle East.” She said that there might develop an accord among the Big Four which would bring “pressure on us. Nobody thinks they will use soldiers to enforce it on us, but there are ways to press even without soldiers.”

Deputy Premier Allon warned Egypt’s President Nasser not to assume the responsibility for “another adventurous war.” Speaking at a meeting of intellectuals he declared that Israel’s defense deployment could not be broken by any or all of the Arab countries. He added that while the Government had not made a decision on the future of the occupied areas, it was “essential that we settle those areas that we regard as vital for our security and future security borders.”

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