GENEVA (Nov. 25)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin of Israel expressed himself today as “hopeful” and certain that Arab-Israeli negotiations for a Mideast peace settlement would begin in earnest next year. Rabin, arriving for the three-day 13th conference of the Socialist International, stressed that Israel “Is ready to negotiate in Geneva or anywhere else for peace or near peace with the Arab states.” But he insisted that the negotiations must be conducted in the framework of Security Council Resolution 242 and without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Rabin lunched today with Baron Edmund de Rothschild and leaders of the Israel Bonds Organization and met later with President Leopold Senghor of Senegal. The Socialist International Conference, opening tomorrow, is attended by 42 delegates representing 35 Socialist or Social Democratic parties, 12 of which control the governments of their countries and the rest opposition parties.
Rabin and other Israeli officials attach great importance to the gathering which will discuss the world economic situation, human rights, the Third World and the Middle East. They point out that “The Socialist parties are Israel’s natural allies and friends” and, if nothing else, the conference will serve to strengthen Israel’s and Rabin’s ties with world Socialist leaders.
IMPORTANCE OF CONCLAVE NOTED
This view was bolstered at yesterday’s preliminary conference of Socialist Women when Anne Marie Renger, president of the West German Bundestag, told the delegates, “Let us not forget when we consider the Middle East situation that Israel has been led since its creation 28 years ago by social democrats and is the only state in the region to apply democratic principles.”
Senghor, addressing the same conference, said he has “remained in close contact with Israel’s leaders” even though Senegal severed diplomatic relations with Israel. He urged a dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians that would lead to separate Jewish and Palestinian states co-existing in peace and “ultimately becoming part of a confederation or even a federation.”
EXPECT WARM RESPONSE TO ISRAEL
Rabin will be one of the main speakers at the conference. He is expected to ask the Socialist “brother parties” to strengthen their support for Israel as the only parliamentary democracy in the Middle East.
That plea is expected to elicit a warm response. The mood of the Socialist International favor a greater involvement outside of Europe and more active ties with the Third World. Former Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany, expected to be elected the International’s new president, is a stronger advocate of such a broad policy than the incumbent, Bruno Pitterman of Austria.
Rabin will confer privately here with Brandt, Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria and Mario Soarez of Portugal. He will also have talk with other Socialist leaders attending who include Francoise Mitterand of France, Olaf Palme of Sweden and Felipe Gonzales, of Spain. When he left Tel Aviv yesterday, Rabin told reporters that he regarded the conference as an important platform to explain Israel’s position on a Middle East settlement and to discuss peace prospects in the area.