Amsterdam (Mar. 3)
Netherlands Foreign Minister Christopher van der Klaauw assured representatives of European Jewry that the European Economic Community (EEC) has no intention of opposing the Comp David peace process and has no secret proposals for solving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Van der Klaauw spoke in his capacity as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the EEC, a post he assumed earlier this year succeeding Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Gaston Thorn.
He met for 90 minutes last Sunday with members of the World Jewish Congress European Branch and other major Jewish organizations representing the Jewish communities of the 10 EEC countries. They voiced their concern over the evolution of EEC policy in the Arab-Israeli dispute in light of developments since the EEC heads of state issued their Middle East declaration in Venice last June.
Van der Klaauw stressed that his pursuit of the Middle East mission undertaken by Thorn was intended simply to explore the nature of the totality of the Middle East situation and was in no way contradictory of the framework agreed to at Camp David. He stated that recent press reports alleging the existence of a secret memorandum on the subject of EEC proposals for a solution of the Middle East conflict were without foundation.
DISQUIET OVER DEVELOPMENTS
During the discussion, which was described as “full and frank,” the Jewish leaders expressed their profound disquiet over a number of developments. Among these were the upsurge of international terrorism as it affected European Jewish communities; the setback to the peace process by the call for “holy war” against Israel at the recent Islamic summit conference in Saudi Arabia; and the resumption of the Euro-Arab dialogue with the rejectionist Arab states that constituted in effect a discussion of the Middle East problem with only one side. The Jewish delegates also warned of the danger of proliferating arms deliveries to Arab rejectionist states by members of the EEC.