Moroccan King Hints New Mideast Peace Mission by Oau
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Moroccan King Hints New Mideast Peace Mission by Oau

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King Hassan of Morocco, speaking as president of the Organization of African Unity in session here, appeared yesterday to be seeking to soften the impact of the strongest anti-Israel resolution in OAU history. The 34 African chiefs of state approved by acclamation Wednesday a pledge of “Africa’s full solidarity with Egypt in its legitimate fight to liberate its territory by all possible means.” The language paralleled that in the recent Soviet-Egyptian communique Issued after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s most recent visit to Moscow.

(Foreign Ministry sources in Jerusalem said Friday that the resolution was the result of Arab pressure and presence and should not be taken too seriously. According to Foreign Ministry officials, the resolution contravenes Security Council resolution 242 of Nov. 22. 1967.)

King Hassan told an OAU press conference at his Palace here that “If Israel showed any sign of goodwill which might lead to something positive and dynamic,” it would not be “impossible” for the OAU to send another peace-making mission to the Middle East. This was a reference to a tour of Mideast capitals, including Jerusalem, last year by five African heads of state. No substantive results were recorded by that mission.


Replying to questions, the King said it would be “political redundancy” to send another African mission to the Middle East “before Israel takes the first step, starting from the present situation.” He did not spell out what he meant by a first step. The position of the Arab countries is that Israel must commit itself to total withdrawal from all occupied territories as a prerequisite to any settlement talks.

King Hassan noted that “many African nations entertain diplomatic relations with Israel” and that “many of them have quite deep relations. They get solid economic and technical aid.” He argued it was not “our plan, not the plan of the African nations, to strip Peter to clothe Paul nor do we wish to create a crisis which would put certain friends of ours in a delicate situation.”

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