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Israel Challenges Moral Right of Soviet Union to Participate in Mideast Talks

The Foreign Ministry has denounced a statement issued by the Soviet Union and five Warsaw Pact countries last week reaffirming their support of the Arabs in the Middle East conflict. The Ministry said that the statement, published by the official Soviet news agency Tass on Nov.27, was “a further contribution of the Soviet Union to the perpetuation of the dispute in the Middle East.”

The Foreign Ministry noted that it was issued against the background of President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s bellicose speech to the Egyptian National Assembly and on the eve of the Arab summit conference at Rabat, Morocco. “The content of the Soviet statement and the timing of its publication were calculated to help Nasser rally the Arab states around his aggressive designs,” the Israeli Ministry said.

“With all of her pretensions to advocacy of a so-called peaceful settlement, the government of the Soviet Union has never declared that the Arab states and Israel should prepare a genuine peace among themselves with a view to putting an end, once and for all, to the war which the Arab governments have waged against Israel for 20 years,” the Foreign Ministry declared. “It is clear that a government whose policy is expressed in this Soviet document has no moral right to be a partner and cannot be a positive and unprejudiced factor in discussions and consultations on the preparations of a Middle East peace–discussions which affect the essential interests of the State of Israel.”

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