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U.S. Explains Veto Position at UN

The State Department, in an unusual demonstration of support for the decision it has taken at the United Nations strongly reinforced today the veto the United States cast last night against the resolution in the Security Council on the Middle East.

In a 2000-word statement that spokesman Robert Funseth described as “really the definitive statement as of now on our approach” to the achievement of Middle East peace, the Department said that the “negotiating framework established in previous Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 had won widespread acceptance and should be preserved.”

This “negotiating framework,” the statement said, “is sufficiently flexible that it can provide the basis for negotiating fair and durable solutions to all the issues involved.” The statement said that “there will be no permanent peace unless it includes arrangements that take into account the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people.” But it pointed out that it is “not realistic” to expect Israel to agree to the participation of the Palestinians in negotiations if the Palestinian policy is “to seek the disappearance” of Israel as a state.

It said that the United States has “no preconceptions as to the nature” of a solution to the Palestinian problem, saying that this “could only be worked out as part of the negotiating process.” It added that the U.S. looks to the negotiating process to “help develop a reasonable and accepted definition of Palestinian interests without which negotiation on this aspect of the overall problem cannot be successfully addressed.”

The statement opened by saying that it is “important to turn from the debate (in the Security Council) and look to the year ahead. Where has this debate left us in our search for Middle East peace?” It said that the resolution before the Council last night “would have blocked the surer and tested way to a settlement in favor of one that would have not worked.” The same phrases was used last night by U.S. Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan when he explained to the Security Council the reason for America’s veto.

The Department suggested again that there should be “an informal preparatory conference” of those states that were parties to the Arab-Israeli peace conference that met for two days at Geneva in December 1973.

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