NEW YORK (Sep. 27)
Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban intends to call for a Rhodes-type peace conference between Israel and Egypt when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. Eban reportedly made the disclosure at an off-the-record meeting with 200 American Jewish leaders today sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at which Dr. William Wexler, Conference chairman presided. According to the reports, Eban said he would ask for a meeting under the auspices of United Nations mediator Gunnar V. Jarring along the lines of the 1949 armistice talks with the Arab states at Rhodes.
Eban said that any one of several subjects could be on the agenda, including the Palestinian refugees, Sharm el-Sheikh and the crossing of the Suez Canal by Egyptian civilians under an interim agreement. He reportedly said that under such a procedure it may be possible to begin with relatively trivial matters and thereby gain momentum that would lead to agreement on more basic and fundamental issues. He said that was how the agreement on Berlin was reached.
POSITIVE ASPECTS TO ACCORD CITED
Eban reportedly did not indicate that he thought Egypt would accept the proposal. But he was said to have pointed out that direct contact is now the theme of international life, citing President Nixon’s projected visit to Peking. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt’s visit to Moscow and the visit by Black African leaders to South Africa. According to reports, Eban also referred to his country’s dialogue with the United States. He said positive aspects were the agreement that there should be no Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories without peace, no imposed solution and maintenance of the military balance of power.
On the negative side, however, Eban reportedly said, the doctrine of military balance is not being observed. While MIGs are delivered to Egypt, no Phantoms are going to Israel. The Foreign Minister reportedly told the American Jewish leaders that Israel’s internal problems were more serious than her external ones. He cited labor relations,