Egyptian News Source Describes U.S. Peace Initiative As ‘procedural Project’

The semi-official but authoritative Cairo newspaper Al Ahram today described the American peace initiative for the Middle East as “nothing but a procedural project.” The plan, described by Secretary of State William P. Rogers on June 25 as a peace “initiative.” is no such thing. Al Ahram said; rather, it is merely a means of giving United Nations mediator Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring “a second and last attempt to implement” the Security Council resolution of Nov. 22, 1967. The newspaper confirmed reports that the Rogers plan includes a call for a 90-day cease-fire. Reports from Cairo indicated that the Soviet Union would accept a limited cease-fire if the United States were to convince Israel to terminate, or perhaps even just lessen, her bombings in the Suez Canal area. President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the reports said, is thus seeking Arab unity behind a policy of de-escalation, cease-fire and settlement. The Cairo-based Middle East News Agency has said that there will be no formal Egyptian response to the Rogers proposal until after Egypt confers with the governments of Jordan. Syria and Iraq. The latter two are the most extreme anti-Israel Arabs, as are the Palestinian guerrillas. Reports said a political settlement would probably be agreed to. even if reluctantly, by Saudi Arabia, Algeria. Libya and the Sudan. Tunisia and Morocco favor such a settlement.

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