Security Council Debate Anticlimax So Far, Say Israeli Officials

Israeli officials believe the Security Council debate on the Middle East has proved an anticlimax so far and has disappointed the hopes of Egypt, whose Foreign Minister Mohammed el-Zayyat initiated it, Egypt hoped for a dramatic debate resulting in a re-definition of Resolution 242 along Arab lines of interpretation or a new UN peace-making machinery being established, but the firm American stand coupled with the lack of enthusiasm showed even by the Soviet-Arab bloc has resulted in the current situation.

Officials here believe that the Council will finally decide, after its month recess, to send Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to the Mideast. Other diplomatic reports say there will be no substantive resolution at all and the Council will adjourn on a procedural point.

Israeli officials are by no means minimizing the fact that 12 Council members took stands opposed to Israel’s own interpretation of Resolution 242. But, as one official said, nothing of importance emerged from it all while U.S. Ambassador John Scali remained steadfastly against any change in the resolution, which, he said “is silent on the question of boundaries.”

Officials here were disappointed that Panama and Peru, traditionally sympathetic to Israel, supported the Arab stand this time. On the other hand, they were heartened by Australia’s favorable position.

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