UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 2)
The nine member states of the European Economic Community (EEC) reiterated their view today that Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 are the basis for any future peace settlement in the Middle East and also appeared to endorse the step-by-step approach pursued by the United States.
In a statement presented on behalf of the nine Common Market nations during today’s General Assembly debate on the Middle East, Ambassador Piero Vinci, of Italy, the current EEC chairman, said that “an overall negotiating formula” was needed to achieve a general settlement in the region. He said that in the view of the EEC, the Geneva conference or any other venue agreeable to the parties could serve that purpose. Vinci also observed that the disengagement agreements in Sinai and the Golan Heights were significant steps and that additional partial measures should not be ruled out.
The EEC statement set forth four principles which it maintained were essential for any Middle East settlement. These were the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force the need for Israel to end its occupation of Arab territories held since 1967; respect for the sovereignty and independence of each state in the area, including Israel; and recognition of the Palestinian people’s right to “express its national identity.” The EEC countries said that should guarantees accompany a Middle East settlement, they would consider contributing to such guarantees. (By Yitzhak Rabi)