UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Mar. 2)
The Soviet Union has called on the United Nations to take “vigorous actions” to thwart Israel “from frustrating the cause of political settlement,” but has stopped short of requesting special sessions of the Big Four, the Security Council or the General Assembly. In a Feb. 28 letter to Secretary General Thant, released today, Soviet Ambassador Yakob A. Malik did not recommend any specific ” actions”–such as the special Big Four meeting he is understood to have suggested at the envoy’s meeting last Friday. The next Big Four meeting is scheduled for Thursday; the Middle East cease-fire ends Sunday. The USSR, Britain and France favor a special session before then, the Kremlin especially wanting to push through a statement demanding total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories. In his letter to Thant, Malik contended that Egypt’s “consistent” efforts in recent weeks to achieve a political solution in the Mideast had played “the decisive role” in creating ” a more favorable situation than ever before.” The “bold and realistic” stance by Egypt in agreeing to a peace accord and navigation rights in return for a complete Israeli pullout “was met with much satisfaction by all who sincerely strive for peace in the Middle East.” Malik wrote.
But Israel’s Feb. 21 response, Malik charged, was “negative,” as “Israel openly came out as an aggressor and again showed the whole world that it does not want to give up its plunderous habits and is not stopping short of challenging the United Nations Organization and the peoples of the whole world.” The U.S., the Soviet envoy added, “supports Israel’s aggressive course,” and thus “shares with Israel the entire responsibility for the situation that is now shaping in the Middle East.” The result, unless “vigorous actions” are taken by the UN, will be “a military clash.” A spokesman for Secretary General Thant said today that the UN chieftain still had the question of an additional Mideast report to the Security Council “under consideration.” Thant was scheduled to confer this afternoon with Egyptian Ambassador Mohammed H. el-Zayyat. Thant met this morning with the new American ambassador, George Bush, and gave him a verbal comment–undisclosed–on President Nixon’s “State of the World” message of last Thursday.