JERUSALEM (Jan. 3)
The Israeli Government waited today for word from United Nations mediator Gannar V. Jarring as to where and when the peace talks under his auspices will be resumed. According to reliable sources, Israel’s chief representative to the UN, Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, will fly to New York tomorrow to “make contact” with Jarring, Government circles denied press reports that Israel was exerting pressure on Jarring to visit the Middle East before the talks are resumed. The reports were prompted by Tekoah’s extended stay in Jerusalem. Foreign Minister Abba Eban reported to the Cabinet today that he had suggested to Jarring in a recent exchange of notes that it would be desirable if he prefaced the resumed talks with a visit to the Middle East where he has not been for 18 months, But this was in no way an Israeli demand or a condition for its return to the peace talks, government circles said. They indicated that Tekoah was given no new terms of reference. He will go to New York under the terms of last week’s Cabinet decision authorizing Israel’s return to the Jarring talks. (Jarring arrived in New York from Copenhagen last night but refused to comment on the status of the talks or when he plans to revive them. Before leaving Copenhagen however, he told newsmen that “all avenues to resolve the Israeli-Arab peace talk stalemate will be explored.”)
(A General Assembly resolution in November which endorsed the extension of the cease-fire also called for UN Secretary General U Thant to report to the Security Council by Jan. 5 on the results of the Jarring mission. Observers at the UN noted that the talks are now unlikely to start by Tuesday but that Israel’s announcement of her return to the talks will permit. Thant to submit a “positive” report.) According to reports reaching here, Israel’s decision to return to the Jarring talks deepened a rift within Egypt between extremists, mainly Army officers, and moderate politicians who are interested in a political solution. According to the reports, extremists in the Cairo government expected Israel to continue its boycott of the Jarring talks whereupon Egypt would have complained to the Security Council and would have tried to place the onus for resumed warfare on Israel, Israel’s move back to the talks upset their plans and they are now exerting heavy pressure on President Anwar Sadat to follow an unyielding line toward Israel. The extremists reportedly feel strengthened by the successful results of recent Egyptian war games and the delivery of new Soviet war materiel, including highly sophisticated electronic equipment. They are also said to believe that if war breaks out anew, the Russians would intervene on the Egyptian side. President Sadat reportedly conferred today with Mohammed el-Zayyat, Egypt’s chief representative to the UN who will be Egypt’s representative at the Jarring talks. Cairo newspapers said Zayyat was pessimistic over the outcome of the talks.
UAR SEEN RETREATING FROM WITHDRAWAL TIMETABLE DEMAND: USSR ADAMANT ON WITHDRAWAL
Jarring is expected to conduct the renewed talks at UN headquarters in New York where they began last August. Israel boycotted the talks almost as soon as they started because of Egyptian violations of the standstill aspects of the Suez cease-fire agreement. Israel is known to have preferred a site closer to the Middle East for the Jarring talks and to have them take place on the foreign ministerial level. Eban was named to represent Israel when the talks started last August but the Egyptians and Jordanian representatives were on the ambassadorial level only. Tekoah is expected to represent Israel at the renewed talks, at least during their initial stages. Eban’s call for a “de-escalation of rhetoric” in the Middle East last week, has gone unheeded. Sadat claimed yesterday that his country was fully prepared for a resumption of warfare with Israel and militarily in better shape than ever. But political circles
This, the circles told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, is considerably less than an Egyptian-Soviet demand for an advance time-table for withdrawal. Israeli circles are nevertheless concerned over new arms shipments promised Egypt by the Russians. Measure to counter this move will be the subject of a dialogue that Israel will carry on with the United States while the Jarring talks are in progress, it was reported today. According to reports reaching here from Moscow, Premier Alexei N. Kosygin said yesterday the lack of progress toward a political settlement in the Mideast is due to the “obstructionist position of Israel and the United States which supports it.” He stated that without U.S. money and arms deliveries, “the aggressor would long ago have had to restrain its belligerent ardor.” Kosygin reaffirmed the Kremlin’s line that there could be no peace in the Mideast without total Israeli withdrawal. These comments on the Mideast and on a number of other issues was published by Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper. Eban delivered a broadcast Friday night in Arabic to the Middle East stressing that Israel “is seeking a full, honorable and just peace” that will settle all problems, not one that will sow the seeds for future hostilities.” He said that “Egyptian mothers do not deserve to continue to pay with the lives of tens of thousands of their sons to keep a conflict aflame.”