UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 28)
Egypt presented today its conditions for peace in the Middle East while warning that unless there is progress for a settlement “an explosion” in the Middle East will be inevitable.
Addressing the General Assembly, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy said that the requirements for peace in the Middle East, as Egypt sees them, are the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all territories occupied since 1967; the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and to self-determination; the right of every country in the area to live in peace; and necessary guarantees “for all peoples of the area to live in security.”
Another condition demanded by Fahmy was for Israel to relinquish East Jerusalem. “There is no other alternative to the return of Arab Jerusalem to those who have a right to it territorially, historically and culturally,” he said.
Fahmy added that “real peace” would also require the establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. He warned, however, “if ever Israel obtains nuclear weapons no one would expect us to stand idle vis a vis this development which would be serious militarily, politically and morally.”
Other requirements for peace, Fahmy said, are the regulation of traditional armaments and the half of the present Israeli immigration policy. He said the Arabs fear that the insistence of Israel of in- creasing its population through immigration will further Israeli “aggression” and “expansion at the expense of the Arab countries.”
STRIDENT ATTACK ON ISRAEL
In a long, sharply-worded, strident speech accusing Israel of aggression and expansionism, the Egyptian Foreign Minister declared: “If the situation remains stagnant, an explosion will become inevitable, an explosion that will dwarf all previous ones with no one in the world safe from its devastating material and spiritual consequences.”
Referring to the Israeli agreement to a united Arab delegation at the Geneva conference without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Fahmy said that Egypt rejects this idea.
“We support any formula that will help the participation of representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Geneva conference on an equal footing with the rest of the parties,” he said. “We disapprove of any formula that would lead to anything contrary to this, including the proposal for a unified Arab delegation which, in our view, is of no benefit unless the PLO participates with the rest of the parties on the same level.”
Fahmy said that the Arabs are prepared to accept Israel if the Jewish State is prepared “to be bound by legitimacy and the supremacy of law… We accept for the first time the call for creating normal conditions, under which the Palestinian people can give expression to their capabilities and talents. This is where the key to the situation and the drive for peace lies.”
The Egyptian Foreign Minister presented the Assembly with a draft resolution calling for the condemnation of Israel for the Jewish settlements on the West Bank. According to the Egyptian statement, Israel has established in the last 10 years 85 settlements in the territories seized in the Six-Day War.