Fahmy Warns Israel There Will Be No Peace Until All Lands Are Returned, Palestinian Rights Restored
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Fahmy Warns Israel There Will Be No Peace Until All Lands Are Returned, Palestinian Rights Restored

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Egypt called on the General Assembly today to make its current session “the session of the people of Palestine” and urged it to adopt principles reaffirming their “basic and inalienable rights.” In a hard-line, frequently harsh and acrimonious address to the General Assembly, punctuated with sharp warnings to Israel that it was missing a “golden opportunity” for peace, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy, declared that the Palestinian people “seek at the UN an international legitimacy.”

He warned that no peace will come to the Middle East until “the legitimate rights” of the Palestinian people are restored and until all Arab lands occupied by Israel in 1967 are “liberated.” (See separate story on reaction of Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah.)

“This is our basic and established policy from which we will never deviate.” the Egyptian diplomat said. “When we talk about peace and work for peace, we mean genuine peace that tackles the essence of the problem and ends the cause of conflict,” he said. Fahmy declared that Egypt would not agree to a state of no-war-no-peace which, he said, can only serve the aggressive purposes of Israel. He said his country objected to “partial solutions which are intended to prolong the period of the truce…a truce that has not prevented three wars.”


Fahmy laid down three guidelines that he said Egypt wanted the UN to follow in dealing with the issue of the Palestinians: “Reaffirming the basic and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and refusal of any squandering or usurpation of these rights; reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to their right to self-determination without any outside intervention and securing their national independence and their right to return to their homeland; reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to work by all means to achieve their basic rights in accordance with the objectives and principles of the UN Charter.”

Fahmy said that Egypt still believed that the Geneva peace conference “is the appropriate formula for discussing all aspects of the (Middle East) question and for reaching a comprehensive and permanent solution to the crisis.”

He accused Israel of “sapping our national resources,” claiming that it was benefitting from the oil wells in Sinai and otherwise enjoying the fruits of aggression. He said that Israel should be made to pay for the destruction of the Suez Canal and of the cities along its banks. He also accused Israel of failure to learn the lessons of the Oct. 1973 war and condemned statements by Israeli leaders that Israel would not relinquish territory taken in 1967.


Addressing Israel directly, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said, “If you are genuine in seeking to co-exist peacefully with the people of the area, it is imperative that you discard those reckless tendencies now and forever,” He warned that Israel would have only itself to blame “if you later regret wasting this golden opportunity to reach a solution.” He said Israel need not fear being “deceived” in the peace process because it still receives arms “in limitless quantities.”

Fahmy said that Israel has refused until now to accede to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and that, that’s why Egypt has not ratified the pact. He said Egypt was against the introduction of nuclear weapons in any forms into the Middle East because it would constitute a great danger to the peace and security of the area. He said that Egypt advocated an undertaking on the part of the nuclear powers to keep nuclear weapons out of the area.


The Foreign Minister said the Arab nations should not be condemned for the oil crisis which he asserted, is not the only reason for worldwide inflation. He said he “regretted” Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s statement on the oil situation to the General Assembly a week ago.

Fahmy said “Egypt has welcomed the relative change that has taken place in the American attitude…and considers it a step in the right direction which is worthy of response.” He credited American efforts for the disengagement treaties in the Middle East and observed, “Despite the fact that the American policy toward the Middle East still leaves much to be desired, we are anxious to give it all the opportunities to become more harmonious with rights, law and principle.” He described the Middle East policies of the European nations as “constructive.”

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