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Jordan Ready to Cooperate to Achieve Mideast Peace if Rights of Palestinians Are Fulfilled

Jordan declared today that it will “cooperate with all efforts to achieve a comprehensive and durable just peace” in the Middle East, provided the “legitimate rights of the people of Palestine” are fulfilled.

“We shall always accord the highest priority to the salvation of the people and the territory from Israeli occupation,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Marwan Kasim said.

Addressing the General Assembly, the Jordanian Minister sharply attacked Israel’s settlement policy, charging that the “annexation” of the West Bank by Israel was part of a continuous Israeli expansion in the region. “A decisive and immediate action is needed to stop this colonial policy if we are to arrest the dangerous escalation in the occupied Arab territories,” Kasim said.

He added: “Israel’s frenzied efforts to change the demographic geographic and economic structure of the occupied territories must also be halted. The world community must deter Israel from implementing the canal project linking the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean,” a project, Kasim said, that will damage Jordan’s vital interests. (See related story, P. 3.)

CITES JORDAN’S POLITICAL INITIATIVE

Charging that Israel reinforces its expansionist policy “ignoring and distorting all peace calls and signals of moderation emanating from Arabs and others” Kasim said Israel rejected the Arab peace plan after the Fez summit in 1982 and the Reagan peace plan of the same year.

“As far as Jordan is concerned, the search for a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is a cornerstone in its foreign policy, and the principal goal of its diplomatic activity at both the Arab and the international levels,” Kasim said.

He said that his country has been engaged in various “political initiatives” to break the impasse in the Mideast. “To this end we engaged in substantive consultations and contacts with several parties who are directly concerned with the Arab-Israeli conflict during the recent past. Though those contacts have materialized in a manner different from what we have hoped for, Jordan will continue to support and encourage every attempt which could lead to the salvation of our people and land from Israeli occupation.”

The Soviet Ambassador to the UN briefly referred to the Mideast in his address to the General Assembly last night. Ambassador Oleg Troyanovsky said that the United States encourages Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the violation of the rights of the Palestinian people. He charged that “continued pressure” is being applied on Syria to make it change its steadfast course in Mideast affairs.

AUSTRALIA CITES BASIS FOR MIDEAST PEACE

At an earlier General Assembly session, Australia’s Foreign Minister, W. G. Hayden, said that a just and lasting solution to the Mideast dispute “means the need to sustain the right of Israel to exist behind secure and recognized borders. ” But he stressed at the same time that the Australian government “acknowledges the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people, including their right, if they choose, to independence and the possibility of their own independent state.”

Hayden said that the “tragedy of Lebanon” proved the urgent need for a comprehensive and fast solution of the Mideast conflict. He said that his government recognizes the centrality of the Palestinian issue in any future Mideast settlement.

“The Australian government also recognizes that whatever arrangement is finally agreed upon will evolve from processes involving the people of the immediate region, including Syria and Jordan,” Hayden declared, adding that the roles and views of the superpowers “cannot be ignored in any such process.”

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