Menu JTA Search

Eban, Jarring to Confer on Next Moves in Middle East Stalemate

Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban will confer tomorrow with Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring on the next move on the Middle East stalemate. Eban told United Nations correspondents today that his meeting with the UN’s Mideast emissary was “at his request.” He suggested that Dr. Jarring would not feel bound by this week’s General Assembly resolution although it endorses his Feb. 8 aide-memoire calling for Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories. “His only mandate is the Security Council Resolution 242,” Eban observed.

But Eban again scored the resolution, describing it as reflecting a “lack of spirit of innovation” and an “unhappy chapter” in the Assembly’s record. But despite the resolution’s 79 to 7 victory and the Assembly’s endorsement of total Israeli withdrawal before negotiations. Eban noted, there was “general dissatisfaction” with it among the delegates, 36 of whom abstained and 10 of whom stayed away.

In fact, he stressed, the “extremist” proposal was not supported by six Arab states. (According to the list of recorded voted, only five Arab states declined to back the measure–Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Southern Yemen and Syria, all of which abstained.)

The Israeli diplomat warned Egypt that she “will do herself very great damage” if she interprets the Assembly vote as a green light for a military attempt to recapture the Sinai–an apparent reference to Israel’s confidence of another victory. Eban insisted that by Israel’s willingness to negotiate territorial withdrawal, “we have honored our policy of non-annexation.”

NO RELIANCE ON SECURITY COUNCIL

Eban again rejected a reliance on Security Council guarantees of border security, remarking: “There is only one thing wrong with Security Council guarantees–they do not exist; there is no such thing.” He added: “Let us know what the UN is and what it is not. It is not an instrument of security. It cannot ensure the security of states.”

This, he said, was because the Soviet Union always exercises its veto when it is in “sympathy with one of the belligerents.” As far as a UN presence in the Mideast is concerned, Eban said, the world organization should serve as an “observer” rather than as an “enforcer” in light of past situations in which a UN force was ineffective or unavailable. “The skepticism is based on experience,” he noted.

While generally circumspect on the question of renewed US Phantom jet sales to Israel and Premier Golda Meir’s recent personal plea in Washington, Eban did say: “She did not come away less happy than she went. We think we will find a solution.”

NEXT STORY