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Eban Warns Sadat’s Threats Must Be Taken Seriously; on Way to UN for General Assembly Mideast Debate

Foreign Minister Abba Eban left for London this morning for three days of meetings with British leaders prior to attending the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York. He told reporters at the airport that the war threats by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt met with a negative reaction throughout the world. At the same time, he said, it would be a grave mistake to take Sadat’s threats lightly. Eban said that Israel’s claim for more arms was getting a more sympathetic reception.

Last Friday Eban asked US Ambassador Walworth Barbour to convey to his government Israel’s appeal for US support in the General Assembly against efforts by the Arab states and their Soviet allies to have the world body issue an “interpretation” of the Security Council’s Resolution 242 of Nov. 22, 1967. Eban reportedly warned that any interpretation of Resolution 242 could be taken by Egypt as an excuse to violate the cease-fire and lead to renewed warfare in the Mideast.

The Arab states and the Communist bloc have been trying to get a ruling from the General Assembly that would support their interpretation of the resolution which is that it calls for an a priori withdrawal by Israel from the administered Arab territories. Israel insists that the resolution must be taken a whole and that withdrawal can be only to secure and agreed boundaries determined within the framework of a negotiated peace settlement.