Mideast Debate Seen As Anti-climax

Sources here said today that the United Nations Security Council’s general debate on the Middle East has turned into an anti-climax after Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed H. el-Zayyat sought to create the impression that the debate was to be one of excruciating urgency. The sources noted that reports received here from diplomats and foreign correspondents indicate that the debate was becoming pedestrian, almost boring. The UN proceedings have been overshadowed, according to these sources, by extraneous events such as the Watergate hearings and Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev’s visit to Washington.

The sources said the debate is expected to recess shortly and that its end would come none too soon. Meanwhile, they said, Israel continues to maintain contacts with member states and is urging them to adopt a balanced approach. Israel is awaiting with interest the British presentation at the debate inasmuch as Britain was the principal author of Resolution 242.

So far none of the major powers has spoken. During Friday’s session, Israel and Egypt continued to exchange recriminations. El-Zayyat reviled Israel for its “unwillingness” to accept the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force and said that if the Security Council did not accept that principle and exercise its authority to uphold it, there was no point in Egypt appearing before that body.

Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah said the statements by el-Zayyat and other Arab spokesmen demonstrated “the more sinister elements of the Arab attitude toward Israel and the gravity of Arab designs against the freedom and sovereignty of the Jewish people.”

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