UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 15)
Egypt announced tonight that it will not agree to renew the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) mandate in Sinai after its expiration July 24. The decision was announced in Cairo by Egyptian’ Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy and a message to that effect was sent today to UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. There was no official comment available from Israeli sources in Jerusalem.
At a press conference in Cairo, Fahmy said Egypt would not order the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping forces until after the Security Council has convened to consider the matter even if that takes place after the July 24 deadline. He said that Egypt wanted the UN to take economic sanctions against Israel.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister accused Israel of utilizing the presence of UNEF as a stalling tactic. “While Egypt does not consent to further renew the mandate of UNEF she is not against the proper use of the force.” Fahmy was quoted as saying in reports reaching here.
He said “Egypt objects to the use of the force and its presence by Israel as a means to maintain the state of no war, no peace and the perpetuation of the occupation of Egyptian territory in defiance of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and accepted norms of international law.”
Fahmy said that while Egypt was angered by the lack of progress in reaching an interim agreement with Israel, it was still prepared to negotiate through the United States for a further Israeli withdrawal in Sinai. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt agreed on April 24 to a three-month extension of the UNEF mandate. Until today, it was generally assumed that he would agree to a further extension after July 24 as long as negotiations continued for an interim accord.