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Israel Prefers Not to Debate Mideast Question at the General Assembly

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Israel prefers not to debate the Mideast question at the current 26th General Assembly session, sources close to Israel said today, but should a debate take place. Israel will seek to prevent an inflammation of what Israeli officials consider the relatively calm diplomatic atmosphere surrounding the Mideast question, Israel will also try to prevent any changes in the text or interpretation of Resolution 242. Israeli officials reportedly do not believe that a solution to the problems in the Middle East can be found in the General Assembly.

All public debate can do is allow for the establishment of broad definitions of policy, according to the sources. Thus, when Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban addresses the Assembly next Thursday morning, he is expected to outline a diverse list of options for peaceful solutions to the Mideast conflict. A refusal of all these options by the Arab states would, the sources said, be significant. But, the sources added, Israel pins her hopes on finding a solution to the conflict in more discreet processes than a public debate. These processes include the ongoing American initiative to find an interim solution to the conflict by focusing on reopening the Suez Canal.

Israel is now reportedly waiting to see what comes out of a forthcoming meeting here between US Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad. In addition, Israel is said to be open to the current peace initiative of four African nations which are representing a total of nine African nations in their attempt to resolve the Mideast crisis. The presidents of Senegal, Congo (Kinsasha), Nigeria and Cameroon are scheduled to visit Israel in early Nov, and will subsequently

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