UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Oct. 15)
Secretary of State William P. Rogers was scheduled to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad late this afternoon. 24 hours earlier than the time originally scheduled for their meeting. Mr. Riad will address the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow. The feeling here was that the Rogers-Riad meeting was advanced because Mr. Rogers wants to sound out the Egyptian diplomat on what he will say tomorrow. Secretary Rogers is expected to address the General Assembly next week. Mr. Riad met today with Edvard I. Hambro of Norway, President of the General Assembly, for a “general discussion of the situation in the Middle East as it effects the UN,” a UN spokesman said. He said they also discussed the “character of the debate” on the Mideast scheduled to begin next week, possibly on Oct. 26. Mr. Hambro will announce the date. The debate was officially requested by Egypt yesterday and was placed on the agenda despite efforts by Israel to forestall it. Israel claims that a debate at this time would be non-productive and could harm prospects for a peace settlement. A spokesman for the British UN Mission took the same view today when he expressed doubt that anything “constructive” would come out of it. A spokesman for the U.S. Mission said the U.S. had “no objections” to a debate. He said the presence of the major principals at the UN represented an “opportunity” for Mideast progress.
The Middle East debate has already begun unofficially in the General Assembly’s special political committee where the Egyptian delegate All Ismail Teymour, injected the Arab-Israeli conflict into a discussion of the apartheid policies of the South African government. Replying to Mr. Teymour’s charges of Israeli racism, the Israeli delegate, Shamey Cabana asserted that the cause of the Mideast conflict was Arab insistence on the theory that the region must be exclusively Arab. He said this was discrimination. There are already Arab states, why must there be another one at the expense of Israel? be asked. The Egyptian alleged that Israel insisted that it must be exclusively Jewish, the same kind of argument that was advanced by white supremacists in South Africa. A similar argument was advanced in the General Assembly today by former President Charles Helou, of Lebanon, attending the session as a presidential envoy from his country. Mr. Helou said it was “strange” that in the 20th century “the armed forces of Zionism were able to create and expand a state whose existence contradicts history, to the prejudice not only of Moslems and Christians but perhaps also of Jews.” He claimed that the Palestinians in the refugee camps were subject for years “to the most intransigent racism.”