LONDON (Dec. 2)
Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home said today that he considered maximum security for Israel to be one of the “vital conditions” for a Middle East peace settlement. Sir Alec spoke in reply to questions put to him by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after addressing the Foreign Press Association here. He said that as far as his government’s policy is concerned, Israel must give up most of the Arab territories it occupied in the June, 1967 war. However, he added, “There are two vital conditions. Israel has the right to feel as secure after a peace settlement as she feels now; in other words, her security then must be comparable to her present security.” The British diplomat said the second condition is “an imaginative solution” of the Arab refugee problem “and in this context the problem of the Palestinians must be resolved.”
Sir Alec stressed that “any solution leading to a settlement must be agreed upon freely by both sides. It cannot be imposed from above or by anybody outside. I therefore hope for a return to the Jarring talks,” he said. Sir Alec said there was “little difference” between the Mideast policies of his Conservative government and its Labor predecessor. “We still base our policy on (the Security Council’s) Resolution 242,” he said. Replying to another question, he maintained that Resolution 242 remains valid despite the move by Egypt to form a federation with Libya, Sudan and Syria, three states which have not accepted the resolution. “I realize the situation is now complicated by the…federation but I hope this does not affect the validity of Resolution 242. I hope that Egypt’s three partners would regard Resolution 242 as the basis for a Middle East settlement,” he said.