UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 29)
Syria urged the General Assembly today to “reconsider” Israel’s membership in the United Nations and called upon the UN to apply sanctions against Israel.
In a strident speech, Syrian Foreign Minister Abdul Halim Khaddam declared, during the general debate that “we call upon the international community to apply against Israel those sanctions provided for under the charter and to reconsider Resolution 273 under which Israel was admitted to United Nations membership.”
The resolution to which he referred is a General Assembly action and observers pointed out that the Assembly has no authority either to expel a UN member state or apply sanctions to a state. It can recommend such action to the Security Council, which does have those powers, but it was considered virtually certain the Assembly would not make such recommendations.
Khaddam accused Israel of “practicing a policy contrary to the aims of the United Nations Charter, to the rules of international law and to the principle of sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights and basic human freedoms” and that Israel therefore was not “worthy” of UN membership.
This was the second Arab foreign minister to take an extreme line against Israel while delicate talks are taking place in Washington and New York between Middle East foreign ministers and officials of the Carter Administration. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy launched a similar virulent attack in the Assembly yesterday.
KHADDAM LAYS DOWN DEMANDS
Khaddam today demanded total Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and securing the national rights of the Palestinian people–the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and the right of the Palestinians to return to the land they own in what is now Israel. He said that this was the key to a solution of the Middle East dispute.
Warning that the Middle East faced an “explosion” because of recent Israeli moves in the occupied territories, Khaddam said recent statements by Israeli leaders that the West Bank was an integral part of Israel, as well as the establishment of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank, only aggravated the situation.
He charged that Israel’s proposals for a settlement were designed to preserve the present situation. In an indirect reference to the United States, the Syrian envoy said it was regrettable that certain powers supplied military and economic aid to Israel. He urged them to stop supporting Israel. He also called on the Security Council to take measures to end Israel’s “oppressive measures” In the occupied territories.
VANCE, FAHMY CONFER
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance met today with Fahmy. State Department spokesman Hodding Carter told reporters afterwards that the meeting dealt with the organization of the Geneva conference and Palestinian representation. He described it as part of a useful and continuing process of talks aimed at achieving a “synthesis” of Israeli and Arab views on the organizational question. Carter also said that Vance is telling all parties that the U.S. wants Palestinians represented at Geneva and the discussions now center on which Palestinians.
Vance will meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan tomorrow. Carter would not comment on reports from Israel that Dayan will tell the Secretary his country has made its final concession on Palestinian representation.