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Pravda Halls Cease-fire; Warns Guerrillas Not to Create Artificial Obstacles to Peace

The Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda hailed the Israeli-Egyptian cease-fire in the Suez Canal zone yesterday and warned Arab states and guerrilla groups opposed to the latest diplomatic efforts not to create “artificial” obstacles to peace. The Pravda editorial was the first authoritative Soviet comment on the cease-fire that went into effect at midnight Friday. The cease-fire was reported prominently in the Russian press and radio. It was not linked to the American peace initiative but credited to the “peaceful initiative” of Egypt. Pravda affirmed that a final Mideast settlement must be based on acceptance of the United Nations Security Council’s resolution of Nov. 22, 1967 “without reservations.” It stressed that the resolution required the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied Arab territories and recognition by the Arabs of Israel’s sovereignty. But the editorial warned that” difficult road will have to be travelled before all problems are solved.” The editorial alluded to opposition to a political settlement by Iraq. Syria and Algeria and most Palestinian guerrilla groups when it stated that “substantive and artificially created obstacles” must be overcome. In the Soviet view, objections raised to the new peace efforts in some Arab quarters are “irrational” and self-defeating to the Arab cause and therefore “artificial.”

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