LONDON (Oct. 19)
Details of parallel U.S. and Soviet plans for a Mideast peace settlement have come to light here, according to press association reports. The Associated Press did not indicate the source of its information but said Moscow’s proposals were submitted to Washington in mid-June as a counter to a U.S. 13-point program advanced the previous month. According to the report, the proposals by both Big Powers are under active discussion in Washington by Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin and Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. The diplomats hope to make enough progress to permit UN peace envoy Gunnar V. Jarring to resume his mission in Arab and Israeli capitals in the next month or so, the AP said.
The dispatch indicated that the super-powers have reached some agreements in principle but differ on many matters. A major proposal by Moscow called for the establishment by the UN Security Council of a Big Four watchdog commission to supervise Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories the demilitarization of the occupied areas and the garrisoning of potential trouble spots such as the Gaza Strip and Sharm el-Sheikh by a UN-appointed international force which would not necessarily exclude the Major Powers.
The AP did not say what the U.S. reaction to these proposals was but claimed that “both the Russians and the Americans explicitly accepted the need for Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories.” The U.S. however wants a timetable to be worked out by Dr. Jarring while the Russians insist that it should be spelled out in advance. “The texts disclose that Moscow and Washington agree that war should bring no territorial gain,” the AP said. The U.S. is holding out for agreed border adjustments between Israel and the Arab states, it reported. Both powers have agreed to leave to the very end the problem of Jerusalem. Both also agree that Egypt should open the Suez Canal to navigation by ships of all nations, including Israel. The U.S. insists on Egypt’s obligation to keep open the Straits of Tiran, the AP said.