Amsterdam (Jun. 24)
Foreign Minister Christoph Van der Klaauw said yesterday that the European initiative in the Middle East can proceed alongside the Camp David accords and not in conflict with it. He said he had discussed the Middle East conflict with U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig while they were attending the Asian Conference in Manila last week and that Haig agreed that the European initiative was “very helpful” and should continue.
Van der Klaauw spoke in Luxembourg after briefing the European Economic Community’s (EEC) Council of Ministers, of which he is currently chairman, on his recent visits to the Middle East. He stressed that the European peace mission must be continued in close cooperation with the U.S. He said he was convinced by his separate visits to the Arab countries and Israel that a solution to the Middle East conflict was urgent. The Council of Ministers will discuss the matter early next week on the basis of his report which is divided into four chapters.
They are the status of Jerusalem; the evacuation by Israel of the occupied Arab territories; the right of self-determination for the Palestinians; and secure borders for Israel. Van der Klaauw said the European initiative was received favorably in most countries that he visited, though Israel was critical of it. The Dutch diplomat will hand over the rotating chairmanship of the EEC Council of Ministers to British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington on July 1.