Gromyko Calls for a Comprehensive Settlement in the Middle East

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko said here today that “the separate deal” between Israel and Egypt “resolved nothing” and that the USSR is in favor of a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. In a similar vein, King Hussein of Jordan also contended that only a comprehensive peace can solve the Mideast problem. (See story P. 3.).

Addressing the 34the session of the United Nations General Assembly, Gromyko charged that the Israeli-Egyptian agreement “is a means designed to lull the vigilance of people. It is a way of piling up on a still greater scale explosive material capable of producing a new conflagration in the Middle East,” he said.

The Soviet Foreign Minister reiterated his country’s viewpoint that a settlement in the Middle East requires “that Israel should end its occupation of all Arab lands it seized in 1967, that the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including the right to create their own state, be safeguarded and that the right of all states in the Middle East, including Israel, to independent existence under conditions of peace, be effectively guaranteed.”

Describing the situation in the Middle East as “a serious threat to peace, ” Gromyko declared, “We are in favor of a comprehensive and just settlement, of the establishment of a durable peace in the Middle East, the region not for from our borders.” He added that “the Soviet Union sides firmly with the Arab people who resolutely reject deals at the expense of their legitimate interests.”

OMITS REFERENCE TO THE PLO

The Soviet diplomat’s speech before the world body was notable for its omission of any reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization when referring to Palestinian rights and Soviet support for an independent Arab state. He also did not mention as he has in past speeches, the Soviet demand for reconvening an international conference such as the Geneva Conference, to solve the Middle East conflict. He stressed, however, his sympathy for the Arab cause.

“It is high time,” Gromyko said, “that all states represented in the United Nations realize how vast is the tragedy of the Arab people of Palestine. What is the worth of declarations in defense of humanism and human rights — whether for refugees or not — if before the eyes of the entire world the inalienable rights of an entire people, driven from its land and deprived of a livelihood, are grossly trampled upon?” Gromyko asked.

He also observed that “added to the tense political atmosphere in this (the Middle East) and adjacent areas is the heavy smell of oil.” He did not elaborate.

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