UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 23)
The Soviet Union stated today that it stands for reconvening the Geneva peace conference on the Middle East with the participation of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In a major policy speech at the 30th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko declared that “to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in the interests of all states of the area and people inhabiting it, it is necessary to withdraw Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied by them in 1967, to insure the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to establish their own state; and to guarantee the rights of all the countries of the Middle East to independent development.”
Gromyko said that as long as those crucial problems are left unsolved there will be no headway in the Middle East. His speech, moderate in tone, criticized but did not attack either the U.S. or Israel. He referred to the new Israeli-Egyptian Sinai accord without mentioning it directly but implied criticism of the pact when he observed that “the problem of the Middle East must be free from an approach based on momentary considerations and publicity.” He claimed that “It can be solved in the interests of the security and independence of all the countries of the region only on condition of a serious and responsible approach to its solution.”
PALESTINIAN PROBLEM EMPHASIZED
Gromyko criticized the Israeli government in terms that seemed almost mild compared to previous Soviet blasts against Israel. He said that “by all appearances, the circles which determine the political course of Israel have not yet come to the realization that it is impossible to insure the security of their country while trampling upon the legitimate rights of other countries which are its neighbors. That policy naturally meets with broad condemnation.”
Gromyko made several references in his speech to the rights of all countries in the region but he emphasized that the solution of the Palestinian problem is “an integral part of an overall settlement in the Middle East. Today this is an axiom and politicians cannot pretend not to see it,” he said. The Soviet Foreign Minister reiterated the friendly and deep rooted relations between the Soviet Union and the Arab countries which, he declared, no one could “succeed in undermining.”
It was announced here today that Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon will address the General Assembly next Tuesday, Sept. 30. Allon, who arrived here last night from Israel to head his country’s delegation to the current General Assembly session, is expected to meet with Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger in New York tomorrow.