UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 5)
Israel and the United States agreed today that none of the parties to the Middle East conflict have to accept the joint U.S.-Soviet statement on the Mideast issued last week as a prerequisite for the reconvening and conducting of the Geneva conference.
The announcement was in the form of a joint statement issued early this morning after a seven-hour meeting between President Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan. Israel had charged that the U.S.-Soviet statement went beyond United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 by urging that a settlement insure “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
The statement issued after the Carter-Vance-Dayan talks said that the U.S. and Israel agree that the two resolutions “remain the agreed basis for the resumption of the Geneva peace conference and that all the understandings and agreements between them on this subject will remain in force.” Israel had pointed out that the 1975 Sinai agreement requires the U.S. to base all Mideast negotiations on the two resolutions.
Carter, in his address yesterday to the General Assembly, stressed that “the commitment of the United States to Israel’s security is unquestionable” but reaffirmed that “the legitimate rights of the Palestinians must be recognized.” But he also stated that Resolutions 242 and 338 “provided the basis for peace.” Neither of these resolutions were mentioned in the joint U.S.-Soviet statement issued last Saturday.
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the Conference will remain on the alert for further developments despite today’s development and that he and Dayan would still make their trip to Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles to meet with Jewish leaders. (See separate story.)
CONSULTATIONS TO CONTINUE
The joint U.S.-Israeli statement today noted that American officials and Dayan discussed “proposals for removing the remaining obstacles to reconvening the Geneva conference” and Dayan would consult his government on these proposals while Vance would discuss with the other parties to the Geneva conference. Prior to his meeting with Dayan, Carter met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy. According to While House reports, the session was “constructive, positive and indicated progress” in trying to resolve existing problems.
At an early morning press conference today after the statement was released, Dayan said he would urge the government of Premier Menachem Begin to approve the proposals which he termed a working paper worked out with Vance. He said he believed the Israeli government would act quickly. But he refused to say what the proposals were. However, Dayan would not predict when the conference would be held although he hoped it would be by the end of this year.
TEXT OF U.S.-ISRAEL STATEMENT
Following is the text of the joint U.S.-Israeli statement:
“The U.S. and Israel agree that Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 remain the agreed basis for the resumption of the Geneva peace conference and that all the understandings and agreements between them on this subject remain in force.
“Proposals for removing remaining obstacles to reconvening the Geneva conference were developed. Foreign Minister Dayan will consult his government on the results of these discussions. Secretary Vance will discuss these proposals with the other parties to the Geneva conference.
“Acceptance of the joint U.S.-USSR statement of October 1, 1977, by the parties is not a prerequisite for the reconvening and conduct of the Geneva conference.”
Meanwhile, later today, Dayan and UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim met for one hour and “discussed extensively” the situation in the Middle East. According to a UN spokesman, Dayan informed Waldheim about the joint U.S.-Israeli statement and discussed with Waldheim the possibility of reconvening the Geneva peace conference and the present situation in south Lebanon. Dayan was accompanied to his meeting with Waldheim by Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog. The Israeli Foreign Minister is scheduled to address the General Assembly next Monday.
In a report issued today, Waldheim reaffirmed his “earnest hope” for an early resumption of negotiations for a settlement in the Middle East. In his report, Waldheim said that at this crucial stage of diplomatic efforts he did not wish to make substantive comment on the situation.
(In an earlier related development, Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY) said yesterday in Washington that he was concerned by the “disturbing course in U.S. Mideast peace policy” and has asked Vance to explain the U.S.-Soviet joint statement. Javits also said that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which he is a member, was not consulted about the joint statement before its announcement Oct. I despite an Administration commitment to do so. He said the committee received the announcement only 24 hours before it was released to the public.
However, Javits said, Carter’s remarks on the Middle East in his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday was “a better presentation of the U.S. position than the Soviet-American statement.” He added, “We need to know a lot more than we do about Soviet intentions if there is to be a just and lasting peace.”)