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Blum: Camp David Framework Helps Solve Question of Palestinian Arabs

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Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Blum said, in remarks prepared for delivery to the General Assembly late this afternoon, that the Camp David framework is “the only practical way to progress towards a comprehensive solution of the Arab-Israel conflict, in all its aspects, including the question of the Palestinian Arabs.”

Blum, who was scheduled to address the Assembly which opened its debate on the “Question of Palestine” this morning, said the Camp David framework “invites the Palestinian Arab residents of Judaea, Samaria and the Gaza District to play an active role in shaping their future, by calling on them to participate not only in the current negotiations, but also in the negotiations which will determine the final status of the areas they live in, as well as in the eventual negotiations on a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, in which the delimitation of boundaries between the two countries will be agreed.”

The Israeli envoy claimed that the autonomy plan “is the first practical proposal to be advanced to provide a dignified solution for the needs of the Arab population of those areas.”

Blum said that the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who are prepared to live in peace with Israel “have been steadily terrorized and intimidated by the PLO which has been conducting, without letup, a campaign of political assassination against them.” He called on the United Nations to encourage the Arab states “to come to terms with Israel and to negotiate with us directly, without preconditions, seriously and in mutual respect.”

At the opening of the debate today, three draft resolutions were submitted to the Assembly. The resolutions call in various terms for the establishment of a Palestinian state and Palestine Liberation Organization participation in any peace negotiations. One of the draft resolutions calls on the Assembly to convene an international conference on the “Question of Palestine” not later than 1984.

Egypt’s Ambassador to the UN, Esmet Abdel Meguid, said that the question of Palestine was at the core of the Middle East problem. He claimed that peace could not be attained without restoring the legitimate rights of Palestinian people. The envoy said that Egypt believes a solution to the Middle East conflict must include withdrawal of Israeli forces to the 1967 lines, Israel’s evacuation of the settlements in those territories, equal footing for Palestinians and Israelis in negotiations for peace, and the right of the Palestinian people to a state of their own.

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