UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Oct. 22)
An unprecedented high-level closed meeting last night of the 15-member Security Council was reported today by Secretary General U Thant to have “re-affirmed their conviction that Security Council Resolution 242 should be supported and carried out in all parts.” Mr. Thant, who participated in the session, said also that the representatives consulted, among other items, on “how to contribute to a peaceful political settlement in the Middle East crisis.” The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned from informed sources that the Syrian representative had “reservations” on support of Resolution 242 but went along with the concensus. Diplomatic circles felt that the concensus position boded well for Resolution 242 at next week’s General Assembly debate in which, according to Israeli sources, the Soviet Union and the Arab bloc may seek to “tamper” with it. Diplomatic sources said however that the concensus position did not preclude the resolution from being discussed in the course of the debate. Meanwhile, diplomats were evaluating today Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko’s two-headed, public-vs.-private approach to the Middle East crisis here yesterday. British political sources, for example, said Mr. Gromyko’s prepared speech at last night’s closed Security Council meeting was in “striking contrast” to the “propaganda” in the prepared text he read to the General Assembly immediately beforehand.
The Assembly address was “uncompromising and unconstructive,” the circles said, but “one speech was made in public and one was made in private.” The diplomatic consensus was that Israeli Premier Golda Meir’s Assembly speech yesterday, while not retreating an inch from previously stated Israeli policy, was more “conciliatory” that “combative.” A U.S. spokesman declined comment on Mrs. Meir’s speech, because she did not specifically criticize this country. British circles termed Mrs. Meir’s remarks “not as combative as some other recent Israeli speeches.” That was understood to be a reference to recent remarks in the Assembly and elsewhere by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban. Although Mrs. Meir and Mr. Eban both reaffirmed their government’s adamance on the matter of Egyptian missile violations and the reactivation of the Gunnar V. Jarring peace talks, the British are understood to feel that Mrs. Meir’s speech yesterday was “in a fairly low key.” (British circles also say privately that Mr. Eban is being totally unrealistic when he says the death of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser is not a setback to peace hopes but an opportunity for Egypt to moderate Its antagonism toward Israel.)
GROMYKO DENIES SOVIETS VIOLATE TRUCE; CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF JARRING TALKS
British sources said the closed Security Council meeting, the first of its kind, was “cordial” and went “quite well,” with the Middle East and South Africa the main topics of comment by the Foreign Ministers and parallel officials. The closed meeting was held in accordance with the UN Charter’s call for a periodic “review of the international situation.” In the Assembly late yesterday afternoon, Mr. Gromyko charged that the Mideast was boiling because “the Israeli leaders, who are still under the spell of chauvinism and political adventurism, are obsessed with the desire to retain the alien territories they have seized.” Mr. Gromyko also condemned “the inflow of offensive weapons which they are getting from their patrons” and “the recent naval demonstrations of the latter in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Mr. Gromyko reiterated the Soviet insistence that it had not violated the standstill cease-fire and was not even a party to it, an assertion that has been termed false by Secretary of State William P. Rogers. Mr. Gromyko called for the resumption of the Gunnar V. Jarring peace mission “forthwith, without emburdening it with all kinds of artificial conditions and demands.” a reference to Israel’s refusal to rejoin the negotiations until Egypt “rectifies” her missile violations. U.S. Ambassador Charles W. Yost said after Mr. Gromyko’s speech that it “does not merit detailed comment,” being “both familiar and unconstructive” and “largely General Assembly rhetoric.” The Russian’s “one-sided explanation” of the Mideast crisis was “specious and not convincing.” Mr. Yost said, adding that “Few people will take seriously the Soviet Union’s lame and weak comment regarding the violations of the cease-fire standstill.”