U.S. Vetoes Council Resolution 13 Vote in Favor, China Refrains from Participating in Vote

The United States vetoed today an eight-nation Security Council draft resolution that deplored Israel’s occupation of territories taken in 1967. Thirteen of the 15 Council members voted in favor of the resolution. The People’s Republic of China did not participate in the vote. The resolution drafted by Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Panama, Peru, Sudan and Yugoslavia also expressed “serious concern at Israel’s lack of cooperation” with Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring, the special representative of Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.

Huang Hua, the Chinese Ambassador, explained later that he did not participate in the vote because a resolution must “strongly condemn” what he termed the Israeli-Zionist clique for prolonged aggression, must ask for immediate and total withdrawal, and call for the restitution of the rights of the Palestinians. The draft had cited “respect” for the “rights and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians.

After the vote, U.S. Ambassador John Scali said the draft resolution was “unbalanced” and “unrealistic” and the U.S. had vetoed it because the draft would have undermined Resolution 242. Scali said he was “deeply disappointed by the outcome of this debate” and noted the resolution, instead of focusing on agreement, was more concerned with judging the past.

He reiterated that Resolution 242 is the only measure agreed on by all the parties in the Mideast dispute and remains the framework for solving the conflict. “Casting a veto is never easy,” Scali explained, but pointed out that it was necessary in view of the “unbalanced and partisan resolution.” Scali had attempted before today’s session to have the resolution modified so that the U.S. could abstain rather than veto.

TEKOAH: VETO AVERTED GRAVE DEVELOPMENTS

Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, exercising his right to reply, told the Council that the veto “averted grave developments and it preserves Resolution 242 as the basis on which agreement can be sought.” He criticized Egypt for its policies which he said have not changed “since the days of war when its goal was to annihilate the Israeli people.” The 13 nations who voted for the draft resolution. Tekoah declared, were “divorced from the truth and realities of the Middle East conflict.”

Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik, in his right of reply, stated that the vote for the resolution was proof of Israel’s international isolation and that Israel’s attacks on the Soviet Union were intended to turn American Jews against the USSR. Mohammed el-Zayyat, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, scored Israel for her treatment of the Palestinians. Jordan’s Ambassador, Sherif Abdul Hamid Sharaf, said he regretted the lack of concrete advancement at the close of the Middle East debate.

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