BONN (Jul. 22)
The nine member states of the European Economic Community (EEC) will extend their Middle East initiative by submitting a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly based on their Venice declaration of June 30 which stated that the Palestinians and the Palestine Liberation Organization must be associated with the Modest peace process.
The General Assembly began a special emergency session in New York today to discuss Palestinian rights.(See P.3.) Both Israel and the U.S. objected, the Israelis charging that the session was convened illegally “in violation of the rules of procedure at the UN.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher has proposed a summit meeting of the EEC and Arab foreign ministers, except Egypt which is boycotted by the Arab League. The purpose is to discuss the West European role in the Middle East.
Genscher offered that suggestion as Chedli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League, arrived in West Germany today for meetings with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Foreign Minister Gaston Thom of Luxembourg who is acting President of the EEC’s Ministerial Council. Thom is expected to be dispatched shortly on a mission of inquiry into the Arab-Israeli conflict, as decided in Venice last month. He will head an EEC delegation for that purpose.
These developments were seen as an additional means of promoting Euro-Arab understanding and strengthening their political cooperation in search of a solution to the Middle East conflict on a new diplomatic basis. Genscher and French Foreign Minister Francois Poncet recently spoke out in support of renewing the Euro-Arab dialogue on a high political-level. The flurry of activity on the part of the EEC is believed to be related in part to expectations that American diplomacy in the Middle East will be paralyzed by the Presidential elections.