JERUSALEM (Sep. 27)
Israeli diplomatic circles expressed satisfaction today with the speeches of both US Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A, Gromyko before the 27th session of the United Nations General Assembly In New York this week. In the case of Gromyko’s speech, the satisfaction was accompanied by welcome surprise over the Soviet diplomat’s strong condemnation of Arab terrorism and his specific reference to the Munich tragedy.
But In commenting on Gromyko’s words, Israeli observers cautioned that it remained to be seen whether the Soviet bloc would now throw its support behind Rogers’ urgent call for international conventions against terrorism including provisions for the extradition and punishment of perpetrators and sanctions against countries aiding them. Israel, for Its part, strongly supports Rogers’ proposals and is making every effort to publicize that fact.
Observers here felt that Gromyko’s statements, the strongest condemnation of terrorism to date by a top ranking Soviet official, reflected the extent to which the outrages by the Black September group has alienated segments of world opinion hitherto sympathetic to their cause, Other circles felt that the surprise Soviet shift on terrorism was another signal that Moscow wanted to Improve relations with Israel.
Rogers’ speech was praised here as much for what it omitted as for what it contained. Israeli sources pointed out that the Secretary of State did not mention his six-point proposals for a Middle East solution which he had brought up in his Assembly speech last year. Israel at the time expressed strong reservations over Rogers’ detailed initiative. In his speech Monday, Rogers concentrated on the need to crack down on terrorists and on an interim Suez agreement, views which Israel shares.