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Security Council President Warns Mideast Stalemate Would Mean War

Ambassador William Barton of Canada, this month’s President of the United Nations Security Council, warned today that “the inevitable consequences of a stalemate” in the Middle East “will be another war.” Barton made that statement in an interview with columnist Victor Riesel, broadcast on WEVD radio. “Unless we make progress then, inevitably at some point there will be a new war,” the Ambassador said.

He indicated that he was disturbed by the outcome of the Israeli elections and particularly remarks by Likud leader Menachem Begin, Israel’s Premier-designate. “When you run into insistence of most members of the UN that it is illegitimate and wrong to hold on to territories and then face that with the realities of the situation from the Israeli point of view, you’ve got a devil’s brew that’s going to be very difficult to solve…If you take Mr. Begin’s statement that as far as he is concerned these territories are just part of Israel then honestly there’s going to be trouble,” Barton said.

He praised President Carter’s efforts to reconvene the Geneva conference “this year.” He said the success of the conference would depend on resolving the issue of PLO participation and the form and direction of the new Israeli government.