JERUSALEM (Jul. 29)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan is due to go to Washington this week at the invitation of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, to try to resolve the bitter dispute that has emerged between Israel and the U.S. over the future United Nations peacekeeping force in Sinai. The issue is also expected to be taken up when President Carter meets with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim at the White House tomorrow to discuss developments in the Middle East and other trouble spots. The President will be joined by Vance.
(In Washington, State Department spokes- person Anita Stockman said today that Israel has accepted the U.S. invitation to meet here this week. She confirmed that Dayan will represent Israel but added that an acceptance has not yet been received from Egypt. Ms. Stockman said the State Department was “delighted” by Israel’s acceptance.)
Last Friday, Vance summoned Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ephraim Evron, to the State Department for a discussion of the conflict over the Sinai force The Secretary reportedly accused Israel of distorting the U.S. position. The conflict centers around the American-Soviet proposal to replace the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) with an expanded United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) force.
Last week Evron conveyed to the U.S. the Israeli government’s rejection of UNTSO on grounds that it contravened the American commitment at Camp David to create a multi-national supervisory organization in Sinai in the event that the UNEF mandate was not renewed. The Security Council allowed UNEF to expire at midnight last Tuesday under the threat of a Soviet veto and agreed to the UNTSO proposal.
ISRAEL STATES ITS OBJECTIONS
Israel objects to UNTSO because among other things, it is under the sole control of the UN Secretary General rather than the Security Council which had jurisdiction over UNEF. Israel Radio said today that Dayan expects the U.S. to stick to its position on UNTSO but to propose that it be brought under Security Council supervision rather than that of the Secretary General.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. Yehuda Blum, who was home this week for consultations, attacked the U.S. position on a television interview yesterday. He accused the Americans of surrendering to Soviet pressure and claimed that if they had not bowed to the veto threat, a majority of the Security Council would have voted to extend UNEF. In the event, no vote was taken.
Another aspect of the dispute is Israel’s charge that the U.S. confronted it with a fait accompli only a few days before the UNEF mandate was to come up for renewal. American officials insist that the UNTSO alternative was discussed in many conversations with Israeli diplomats who raised no objections. The U.S. also maintains that UNTSO adequately fulfills the U.S. commitment to a Sinai peacekeeping force replacing UNEF.