UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 23)
Arab diplomats at the United Nations were defensive today in the wake of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s address to the General Assembly. They contended that the high price of oil is not the only culprit in the troubled world economy.
Speaking with newsmen after Kissinger’s speech, Mahmoud Riad, secretary general of the Arab League, said that the oil prices are not the main problem that has caused inflation. He said the high price of all raw materials should be considered. However, Riad said that the oil producing nations are ready to cooperate with the oil consumers on the problem. The same line was taken by Saudi Arabian Ambassador Jamil M. Baroody who said that if inflation would be curbed in the industrial countries it would bring a reduction in oil prices.
However, Arab delegates are reportedly still disturbed over President Ford’s address to the Assembly last Wednesday where, referring to last year’s Arab oil embargo, he warned that nations must not manipulate fundamental needs for national or bloc advantages and added that any attempt by one nation to use a commodity for political purposes would invariably tempt other nations to do the same. Arab delegates continue to contend that Ford’s statement was a veiled threat to oil-producing nations and expressed the feeling that the U.S. was hardening its attitude toward their countries.
Meanwhile, it is expected that Yasir Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, will arrive here within a few days to participate in the debate on Palestine. One of his principal aides, Nabil Shaath, is already here to assist the resident PLO observer, Sadat Hassan, who has a Yemeni passport and holds the rank of ambassador.
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