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Shultz: U.S. is Committed to Continue Israel-arab Negotiations

Secretary of State George Shultz declared today that the U.S. is committed to continue negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors with the goal of reaching a peaceful agreement.

“The past year has seen major efforts toward new negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” Shultz told the General Assembly today. The Secretary of State, who opened the Assembly’s general debate, added:

“The U.S. is committed and engaged in support of those efforts in accordance with President Reagan’s initiative of three years ago.” Shultz said that progress in the Middle East can only be achieved through direct negotiations, based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

“There is no other way, an evasion of this reality only prolongs suffering and heightens dangers. Nothing positive will ever be achieved by chasing illusions of ‘armed struggle'; but much can be accomplished by parties who are committed to peace and engaged in serious dialogue,” Shultz said.

‘THE MOMENT IS AT HAND’

He concluded his brief remarks on the Middle East by declaring that “The moment is at hand–this year–to make major progress and to begin direct negotiations.”

Shultz also recalled that 15 years ago, peace between Israel and any of its neighbors seemed “a remote if not impossible dream.” But he said that finally “a courageous leader, Anwar Sadat, abandoned the old ways of thinking and took the step no other Arab leader was prepared even to contemplate: He recognized that the State of Israel was here to stay and with Prime Minister (Menachem) Begin, vowed there would be no more wars. Peace and normal relations were established and the Sinai was returned.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who arrived in New York last night, was at the General Assembly during Shultz’s address. Later, Shamir addressed the Presidents Club of the Israel Bond Organization. (See separate story, P. 3.)

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