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Allon: Peace Will Not Be Achieved in a Single Step

Foreign Minister Yigal Allon intimated on his return from the U.S. last night that a peace settlement with the Arabs will not be achieved in a single step but would proceed eventually from interim agreements which themselves are not attainable in the near future. Allon, who addressed the UN General Assembly and met in Washington with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and other U.S. officials during his 10-day visit to the U.S., said that Israel was hopeful that Kissinger’s latest mission to the Middle East will succeed.

Allon told reporters at Ben Gurion Airport that the main purpose of Kissinger’s trip was to find a common denominator on which all parties could agree so that peace negotiations can be resumed. He said the points of agreement would be on procedure, agenda, which country will negotiate with Israel first and when the Geneva peace conference is to be resumed.

Allon was asked by reporters to define non-belligerence, a term frequently used recently both by Allon and Premier Yitzhak Rabin to describe what Israel would demand from the Arab states in the context of an interim agreement. The Foreign Minister replied that no one in the government has defined the exact details of non-belligerence as yet.

“It is the accepted phrase of many Cabinet members who agree that in lieu of a final settlement, a non-belligerence situation would be satisfactory–satisfying from the legal-security point of view and from the security standpoint,” Allon said. He noted that if those conditions were satisfied, Israel could accept an interim arrangement instead of an overall peace settlement, but he was not optimistic that an interim arrangement could be reached in the near future.

He said that an interim arrangement should not be regarded as a deviation from the declared policy of the government to seek a permanent and lasting peace. An interim arrangement establishing non-belligerence should contain sufficient incentives to push toward a final peace settlement, Allon said. (By Yitzhak Shargil)

There will be no Bulletin Oct. 14 due to Columbus Day, a postal holiday.

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