Israelis Watch Joint Defense Council Meetings in Cairo

Israeli Government circles watched today with interest the Arab League’s Joint Defense Council meetings in Cairo to see what effect they would have on Soviet-American efforts to find a basis for Mideast peace. The semi-official Middle East News Agency and semi-official Cairo newspaper Al Ahram reported that the 13 members of the League present–the meeting is being boycotted by Tunisia turned down the latest U.S. peace proposals.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad rejected the proposals charging that they were “even worse” than previous ones formulated by Washington. The Arab foreign and defense ministers and other military officials heard Mr. Riad assail the U.S. as no longer merely an “advocate” for Israel but rather an “accomplice.”

The meeting of the Council, first since the Six-Day War, was called to discuss “mobilization of all Arab energies” for war against Israel. Sudanese Minister of State Farouk Abu Issa, said the U.S. has become “enemy number one of the Arabs.” In addition to discussions on how to strengthen the front against Israel and build up the guerrilla movement, the Council planned “the most comprehensive study of American policy in the Middle East since the June, 1967 war.” An official said “this review comes at a junction in history when we must clearly define our positions vis-a-vis the U.S.”

Abel Khalek Hassouna, Arab League secretary general, assailed the U.S. for a 1967 court decision that Americans who serve armies of friendly countries need not automatically lose their citizenship. He asserted that this decision was “contrary to international law, United Nations resolutions and U.S. interests in the Arab world.” Mr. Issa of Sudan charged that the U.S. not only sent arms and money to Israel but “has mobilized its sons to serve in the Israeli Army.”

EBAN SAYS NASSER’S SPEECH REVEALS HIM AS A ‘WAR-MONGER’

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s speech last week declaring that “war” and “bloodshed” were “inevitable” and were the only solution to the Arab-Israel conflict was described by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban as “a war-monger’s aggressive speech, laden with threats.”

Mr. Eban declared that the speech “presented Nasser without a mask” and that it expressed “Egypt’s traditionally aggressive policy under Nasser who has brought down on the Egyptian people and upon the entire region constant misery and tragedy and who still promises more ordeal for his people in the future.” The Foreign Minister added that the address “demonstrated the frustration of this declining tyrannic regime. Instead of repenting of his aggressive adventure of 1967, Nasser threatens to shed more blood and fire.” and thus “continues to be the major obstacle on the way to peace in the area and to progress of the Arab peoples.” Asserting that the Egyptian leader had once more revealed “his true aspirations to eliminate Israel’s independence and existence,” Mr. Eban declared that Col. Nasser’s “aggressive ambition extends to all of Israel before and since 1967.” He said that “one should not be surprised that Nasser sees no way to a peaceful settlement, since he never meant to make peace with Israel.”

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