Eban: Israel to Return to Jarring Talks; 1971 May Be Year of Dialogue

Foreign Minister Abba Eban said here last night that Israel will return to the Jarring talks. “We expect a renewal of the Jarring negotiations,” he told an audience at a Joint Palestine Appeal dinner. “We have no assurance of agreement, but their failure would obviously make the situation worse than it had been before Aug. 1970,” the date of the cease-fire, Eban said. He did not specify when Israel would return to the talks. (Western sources at the United Nations indicated today that they expect the Jarring talks to be resumed by Jan. 5, the date when Secretary General U Thant reports to the Security Council on the progress of Jarring’s peace mission. Jarring will return to New York to help Thant prepare the report, according to a UN announcement. It is not certain however when he will arrive. A British diplomat said he expected the peace talks to resume “around the first of the year” which could be any time between the last week of 1970 and Jan. 5.) Eban hinted that assurances from the United States were instrumental in getting Israel back to the stalled negotiations. “The United States has agreed with us that we should not withdraw from anywhere unless it is to secure frontiers, and that we should not agree to anything that would change in any way the character of Israel,” Eban said, adding. “This may reopen the way to negotiations once more. 1971 may turn out to be a year of dialogue.”

Eban also addressed the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House where he told an overflow audience that the June, 1967 war was “still the point of reference for Israel’s foreign policy, but it is the memory of mortal danger and complete isolation which must be considered. It is stronger than the memory of the tremendous victory,” he said. Eban noted that Israel has modified its position in the interests of peace. “Israel moved her position from direct negotiations to indirect ones. She accepted a limited cease-fire and in doing so lost a measure of national unity, but the result was more clarity in the situation,” he said. Eban stressed that the present cease-fire lines are not final borders. “For the future, we think in terms of open borders, of a level of patriotism–to the nation and to the region– as exists in Scandinavia and within the European Economic Community,” he said. The Israeli diplomat said with regard to Jerusalem’s future that “her unity must be taken for granted, but we have made proposals for the holy places and in them was inherent a solution which takes account of the interests of all concerned.”

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