United Nations (Jul. 14)
The United States, Canada and Norway boycotted a dinner last night given by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in honor of the opening of the International Conference on Kampuchia because the hosts withdrew an invitation to Israel.
Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who was expected to attend the dinner, declined to participate after learning of the move against Israel. A State Department spokesman said last night that “in fairness and equity” Haig could not attend if Israel was barred from the dinner.
The invitation was withdrawn without an explanation and without a written notice. Israel was informed of the action by a telephone call last Thursday. The next day, Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore called Israel’s Ambassador Yehuda Blum and apologized for the withdrawal of the invitation.
But Koh, Israel displomats said, was not able to provide any satisfactory explanation “for this extraordinary breach of etiquette.” The invitation was withdrawn by the dinner’s hosts after they discovered that two of their members — the Moslem nations of Indonesia and Malaysia — had no diplomatic relations with Israel.