Soviet Union Replies to United States Mideast Peace Proposals, State Dept. Says

The State Department disclosed today that the Soviet Union has responded to United States Mideast peace proposals made in recent weeks in the course of bilateral talks between Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin.

According to a department spokesman, the response was delivered to Secretary of State William P. Rogers by Yuri Tcherniakov, charge d’affaires at the Soviet Embassy here. The contents were not disclosed but they are believed to be based on the impressions gained by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko following his Cairo meetings last week with President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Mr. Rogers was said to be “studying” the Soviet document.

According to informed sources here, the U.S. had asked the Soviet Union to clarify its definition of terms for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories as part of a “package deal” that would include a contractual peace settlement and the establishment of permanent, secure and agreed boundaries. Mr. Gromyko is said to have submitted the American proposals to President Nasser who rejected them, according to Cairo reports.

A vital element of the American proposal to Moscow in the bilateral talks was said by officials to be a requirement that the Arabs sign an accord with Israel tantamount to a contractual obligation. However, the accord would not be characterized as a formal peace treaty in deference to Arab sensibilities and Arab resistance to direct negotiations. Under the U.S. formula, officials said, the Arab states and Israel would have to agree on details of Israeli troop withdrawal from occupied territories. The American stand is that Israel should have secure borders but is not entitled to profit from conquest.

NEXT STORY