UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Sep. 21)
Mr. Eban told the United Nations on Friday that there can be no diplomatic effort pointing toward a Mideast peace unless the cease-fire is rehabilitated. In a General Assembly speech setting forth a seven-point program of principles and proposals to prevent war and promote peace, he urged that “as a first step, the Arab governments and Israel pledge a new their adherence to their obligations” under the June 6, 1967 cease-fire.
His six other central points were: 1. The Mideast states should declare their readiness to establish permanent peace and to negotiate detailed agreements on all matters at issue between them, including those listed in the Nov. 22, 1967 Security Council resolution. 2. Israel is ready to negotiate without any prior condition of any kind. He declared that “everything” is negotiable and that in negotiations Israel would naturally “define where our vital and indispensable interests lie.” 3. An international conference on refugees should be convened with the participation of the Mideast states, the nations contributing to refugee relief and specialized UN agencies to work out a five year plan for solving the refugee problem by regional and international responsibility.
4. Israel has no claim of exclusive control or unilateral jurisdiction over the Holy Places of Christianity and Islam “and is willing to discuss with those traditionally concerned the means of expressing this principle in any settlement.” Until that time, the “Holy Places will be administered and maintained by the Christian and Moslem bodies to which they have been entrusted since 1907.” 5. Secure, recognized and. agreed boundaries should be established, replacing cease-fire or armistice lines, as part of the peacemaking process, and armed forces should be disposed in accordance with the boundaries determined in peace treaties. 6. “In conditions of peace, the people of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs on both sides of the Jordan would be living as free citizens of sovereign states in accordance with the agreed boundary concluded under the peace.”
Mr. Eban reiterated his Government’s adherence to the nine-point peace proposal that he outlined in the 1968 General Assembly. He also voiced his Government’s support for use of Secretary-General U Thant’s special peace envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring in negotiations and in preparing an agenda and venue for them. The Foreign Minister saw no progress made toward peace during the past year and blamed the Arabs for it.
The General Assembly voted on Saturday to consider “the situation in the Middle East” at a plenary session without any prior debate in a committee. The issue, which has been on the agenda since the June, 1967 special session, may not be taken up however. The question was put aside until the end of the 1967 and 1968 sessions and then postponed until the next upcoming General Assembly.
Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko accused Israel on Friday of “obstructing any steps toward a political settlement” and reiterated the Kremlin’s ironclad demand for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the areas occupied in the Six-Day War as a “major and indispensable” precondition to peace.
Addressing the 24th General Assembly during the second day of general debate, Mr. Gromyko replied to Mr. Nixon’s proposal Thursday for an agreement on limitation of arms shipments to the Middle East, He stated that the Soviet Union had told Washington that a discussion of the issue “cannot serve any useful purpose” so long as Israeli troops remained in the occupied territories. Mr. Nixon had said that the indicated willingness of the U.S. to enter into a discussion on this question had not produced any results. Mr. Gromyko’s statement of Soviet policy also revealed a complete divergence with the U.S. position on the future of the territories occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War.