UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 20)
The 32nd session of the United Nations General Assembly opened this afternoon with the Middle East the dominant item on its agenda. Diplomats here said today that the Assembly’s deliberations on the Middle East will be influenced by behind-the-scenes activities in Washington and New York by the foreign ministers of Mideastern countries and officials of the Carters Administration. They also believe that the war in Lebanon and the way it develops will have an impact on the Assembly’s dealings with the legion.
The opening session was devoted to electing a new president and admitting Vietnam and Djibouti to the world organization. This will raise the number of UN member states to 149. Lazar Mojsov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, the unchallenged candidate for the presidency of the Assembly, was elected.
The Middle East issue will be given priority at the request of Egypt which asked to include the item of Israeli settlements in occupied Arab territories in the first debate following the general debate. This is likely to come up in the middle of next month. It was learned today that the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has observer status at the UN, has not yet asked to address the Assembly. Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan is scheduled to deliver his address on Oct. 6, two days after President Carter addresses the Assembly.
Meanwhile, a press conference that was scheduled this morning by U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young was cancelled at the last minute. Earlier in the week, speaking at a breakfast attended by 300 persons at Bay Shore, L.I., Young reportedly said that peace in the Mideast would not be achieved until the PLO was permitted to participate in formal peace negotiations.
“You’re not going to have peace in the Mideast until the people who are doing the fighting are somehow brought to the table.” Young reportedly said, adding that the PLO must first recognize Israel’s right to exist. Young was not available for comment today and Israeli officials at the UN also refused to comment before getting the full text of Young’s speech.