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Allon: Israel ‘ready and Willing’ to Engage in Peace Negotiations with All Its Neighbors, End Mideas

Israeli Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Yigal Allon declared in a major policy address to the General Assembly this afternoon that his nation was “ready and willing” to engage in peace negotiations with any and all of its neighbor states. He also declared that “Israel is in favor of any mechanism which will advance the process of negotiations between the parties to the conflict” and that it is prepared even before peace is achieved, to consult with its neighbors to end the “senseless competition” of the Middle East arms race and to reach agreement with them to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

Allon affirmed that “the government of Israel is ready and willing to enter into peace negotiations with Syria without prior conditions as called for by Resolution 338 at any place and at any time” even though Syria has repeatedly made statements rejecting “the whole concept of a genuine peace treaty with Israel.”

The Foreign Minister said Israel supports the Geneva peace conference and believes it can be reconvened whenever the parties are ready for it following adequate preparations. He said that Israel is also prepared to give “most earnest consideration” to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s proposal for informal, multi-lateral consultations on the Middle East.

NEED SOLUTION FOR PALESTINE ARAB PROBLEM

Allon said his country was fully aware of the Palestinian problem and that “it is self-evident that genuine peace in the Middle East must include a just and constructive solution for the Palestine Arab problem.” However, he said, such a solution demands a change of attitude in the Arab world, “The Palestine Arab problem should and can be solved in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan which constitutes the major part of the area of historic Palestine on both sides of the (Jordan) river as well as being the homeland of the great majority of Palestinian

He declared that Israel is “categorically negative” about the so-called Palestine Liberation Organization’s pretension to speak in the name of Palestinian Arabs. He reiterated Israel’s claim that the PLO’s primary aim is the destruction of the State of Israel and the genocide of its people. The PLO “is neither a valid representative of the Palestine Arab community nor a valid interlocutor for Israel,” Allon said, He cited the civil strife in Lebanon as a mockery of the PLO’s demand for a secular democratic state of Moslems, Christians and Jews to replace Israel.

SINAI PACT NOT END IN ITSELF

Referring to the recent Israeli-Egyptian interim agreement in Sinai, the Israeli Foreign Minister said its significance lies among other things, “in the belief that it opened a new chapter in relations between the two countries.”

Noting the main provisions of the agreement. Allon said, “As far as we are concerned, the new agreement is not an end but the beginning of a process of peace-making. We do not delude ourselves that this will be a simple undertaking for the making of peace after so many years of hostility and suspicion, will call for qualities of moral courage, understanding and tenacity far greater than those needed for waging war.”

Allon issued a strong warning that the Middle East is being swamped by new and sophisticated military hardware “such as it has never known in all its long history.” He said the problem of arms control in the Middle East is real and urgent and that while Israel is forced to participate in this “senseless competition,” it is ready “at any time, even before peace is made, to consult with its neighbors on measures to limit the arms race–without materially affecting the relative defensive capacity of any of the parties to the consultations.”

Allon said Israel also supports the proposal for a nuclear-free zone in the Mideast and is ready to negotiate with its neighbors to reach an agreement. He said Israel emphasized negotiations, contrary to the Arab demand that the issue be settled by correspondence through the Secretary General of the UN.

DETENTE STILL A PIECE OF PAPER

Speaking of detente and the articles of the Helsinki Conference signed by the European nations, including the Soviet Union, Allon charged that so far detente has not been applied to the Middle East and that the humanitarian provisions of the Helsinki agreement have not yet been appalled to the Jewish national minority in the Soviet Union.

“For them, the Helsinki agreement is still a piece of paper and detente is far over the horizon,” Allon said. He expressed hope that the Soviet Union would live up to the spirit of the Helsinki agreement and enable Jews who want to emigrate to do so.

Allon reviewed the 30 years of the existence of the United Nations, its aims and its achievements. But he accused the world organization of following a “hypocritical and dangerous course” in its attitude toward Israel. He assailed the “mounting of a despicable attack on Zionism by associating it with abhorrent political concepts.” Allon contended that anti-Zionism was a euphemism for anti-Semitism and charged that “subscribing to a resolution condemning Zionism means an endorsement of anti-Semitism and legitimization of aggression against Israel.”

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