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Schmidt Defends Eec, Declaration

Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told the Bundestag yesterday that the Middle East declaration of the nine-European Economic Community (EEC) Prime Ministers in Venice last Friday was on “evenhanded” document “contributing to on overall peace settlement” in that region. Schmidt stressed that “contrary to what was said,” the European community did not intend to change Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

The Chancellor expressed satisfaction with what he termed the positive reactions to the Venice statement in Cairo and Washington. He did not mention the Israeli Cabinet’s vigorous denunciation of the document which Premier Menachem Begin called “a second Munich surrender.” However, he said, “we fully understand” the concerns of “our Israeli friends” and “we took them into consideration.” He said the EEC member states will explain their views on continuing the peace process to the various parties.

Meanwhile, Yitzhak Berman, the Speaker of the Knesset who heads on Israeli parliamentary delegation visiting West Germany, said yesterday that his country totally rejected the idea of European guarantees for a Middle East peace settlement. He said they would not work and would not elicit concessions from Israel. According to Berman, the Venice declaration supported the Palestine Liberation Organization and thereby encouraged terrorism and extremism.

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