Egypt, Jordan Preparing Anti-israel Offensive in General Assembly, Security Council
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Egypt, Jordan Preparing Anti-israel Offensive in General Assembly, Security Council

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Israel anticipates a two-pronged diplomatic assault in the United Nations next month, spear-headed by Jordan in the Security Council and Egypt in the General Assembly. Foreign Minister Abba Eban said at today’s Cabinet meeting that the Israeli delegation would expose the full story of atrocities and desecration during Jordan’s 19-year occupation of East Jerusalem if Jordan raised the question of Jerusalem in the Security Council. Egypt, meanwhile, was said to be planning to seek a pro-Arab “interpretation” of the Security Council Resolution 242 when the General Assembly begins it session Sept. 21. The semi-official Cairo newspaper Al Ahram reported yesterday that Egypt will press for a Security Council debate on the Middle East crisis next week and will request permission to participate although it is not a Council member. Other sources said, however, that Egypt intends to by-pass the Council and seek an Assembly consensus that Resolution 242 requires total Israeli withdrawal behind the pre-June, 1967 armistice lines. The sources said that Egypt is convinced that one of the Western powers would veto such a resolution in the Security Council but that it could muster the two-thirds majority necessary for passage in the Assembly. An Assembly resolution would be in the nature of a recommendation and, therefore, not binding but would have a strong political effect. Beirut radio said today that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and other Arab heads of state may attend the Assembly session, apparently to capture the initiative and the limelight from Jordan, in the Middle East debate. According to Al Abram, Egypt’s UN Ambassador Mohammed Hassan el Zayyat will leave Cairo tomorrow for New York to lead the Egyptian diplomatic offensive. Most observers here, however, doubt that Sadat would leave Egypt at the present time. According to Michael Arnon, the Cabinet Secretary, Eban warned that a Security Council debate on Jerusalem would be harmful to the peaceful situation that prevails in the city. The Foreign Minister stressed that Israel’s position on Jerusalem is unchanged-that the city must remain united, undivided and must be developed for the benefit of all of its inhabitants. Several Cabinet ministers reportedly criticized the United States for not doing enough to avert a Council debate on Jerusalem. Eban did not give an evaluation of the possible outcome of a vote on the subject in the Council. It is understood that Israel raised the subject in recent diplomatic contacts with the United States. Sources here said Washington has apparently reversed a previous stand and is not now making active efforts to avert a Jerusalem debate.

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