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Sir Alec; ‘we Stand with Israel when She Claims the Right to Security’

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel spoke from the same platform last night. They addressed the 23rd annual dinner of the Anglo-Israel Association and agreed that bilateral relations between Britain and Israel were very satisfactory. They also proclaimed the same basic goal of peace in the Middle East.

Sir Alec declared, “We stand with Israel when she claims the right to security.” He observed that “peace in the Middle East cannot and will not be imposed from outside” and that Britain “can only offer our honest advice as friends.” Eban declared that whenever the situation in the Middle East shows signs of a change toward dialogue, “I can assure you that Israel will be versatile and inventive in her search for peace.”

Sir Alec said Israel’s security could be protected in three ways: “By a peace agreement; by defining permanent boundaries; by a physical arrangement in which Britain would be prepared to play her part.” He agreed with Israel that “The arrangements that prevailed before 1967 could not be relied upon any longer.” The Foreign Secretary observed that “In the final analysis, peace must spring from the heart. Dialogue must supplant confrontation. A certain risk must be run for the sake of peace.” The British Foreign Secretary reiterated that the Security Council’s Resolution 242 “must be respected and positively used. To discard it or to tamper with it would be a retrograde step,” he said, adding, “We will work for a positive outcome of the debate at the General Assembly.”

(Diplomatic circles in Jerusalem said today that they welcomed Sir Alec’s statement that Britain continued to adhere to the principle of direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab states. Foreign Ministry circles said they could not comment on his speech until they studied its full text.)

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