UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 23)
The Soviet Union today denounced the Camp David accords as on “anti-Arab deal” and said that their direct consequence is “unabated tension in the Middle East where the situation is fraught with perilous, unforeseen developments.”
Addressing the General Assembly, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko reiterated the Soviet position that the Camp David agreements are intended only “to satisfy Israel’s annexation claims and to establish an American military presence in the Middle East.” The Soviet diplomat’s remarks were part of a major foreign policy speech in the Assembly’s general debate.
Declaring that the Soviet Union supports the “inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine whose only legitimate representative is the Palestine Liberation Organization,” Gromyko charged that since the Camp David agreements, peace in the Middle East has proven to be for more elusive. “It is for this reason that Camp David is rejected by the Arab states and denounced by all those who are interested in a just and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, not in a settlement dictated by imperialist interests,” Gromyko said.
THORN URGES ROLE FOR PLO IN MIDEAST TALKS
Foreign Minister Gasion Thorn of Luxembourg, speaking for the European Economic Community (EEC), told the Assembly that the Palestinian people and the PLO should be involved in global negotiations concerning the Middle East and be obliged to adhere to a settlement which would arise from those negotiations, as would all other parties.
Thorn referred to his recent Middle East mission on behalf of the EEC. He said that he observed that not only Israel but other states in the region as well considered the security of all states to be an urgent matter.
He said that all of the Arab states continue to view Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories as a must. He said that in the view of the EEC’s nine member states, Israel should refrain from establishing any new settlements in the territories and the Arab nations should “explicitly” recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Thorn reiterated the position of the EEC that a Middle East solution has to be based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. He said the time has come to assure the security of all states in the region, including Israel, and to recognize the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people.
Thorn called on Israel to end its occupation of the lands seized since 1967. He termed Israeli settlements in those territories illegal and declared the freedom of access to holy places must be guaranteed.
BRITAIN COMMITTED TO VENICE DECLARATION
Another speaker, British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, in brief remarks on the Middle East, said that his government, together with the other members of the EEC, is committed to the principle set up at the EEC summit conference of heads of government in Venice last June and that he believes this principle can be the basis for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
“The Middle East conflict is one which cries out for negotiations leading to a peaceful solution,” Carrington said. He said the British government welcomed the resumption of the autonomy talks between Egypt, Israel and the U.S.
COMMITTEE APPROVES ISRAEL’S CREDENTIALS
Meanwhile, the General Assembly’s credentials committee last night approved Israel’s credentials to participate in the current session of the General Assembly. The credentials of scores of other countries were approved at the some time. But the committee’s decision must be brought to a vote in the plenary. This procedure raises the possibility that, in theory, Israel’s credentials could be suspended.
However, UN officials said today that this was not likely to happen. They said the Arab states probably would not challenge Israel’s credentials this year.