NEW YORK (Oct. 24)
Israeli Premier Shimon Peres expressed satisfaction today with King Hussein’s initial reaction to his peace proposals promulgated Monday at the United Nations General Assembly. Appearing on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” program, Peres termed the Jordanian King’s response, as reported today in The New York Times, “constructive” and “encouraging.”
In an interview with the Times, Hussein said in Amman: “I believe his (Peres) speech represents the beginning of movement in the right direction, and reflects personal concern for the fate of future generations and a determination to contribute towards the achievement of peace in our time.” Continuing, Hussein said:
“I hope it is the beginning of a realization of what is required for the establishment of a just and durable peace, in other words, rapid movement towards the convening of an international conference with the participation of all of the parties of the conflict to try to tackle the issues before us before it is too late.” He called the convening of such an international conference “the only solution.” Hussein indicated that the immediate termination of the state of war between Israel and Jordan, which Peres had declared in his speech, was problematic because of Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank “and other territories.”
The termination of the state of war, Hussein continued, would be the “crowning achievement of a peace effort under the right auspices — an international conference, dealing with all aspects of the problem, in particular, the Palestinian dimension and Palestinian rights,” to “implement Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.” He repeated his insistence that the two superpowers as well as the Palestinians “and their legitimate representatives” would have to participate in such a conference.
The King also said that he remained committed to his February II accord with the PLO to seek peace jointly, but added that he was reviewing his relationship with that organization.
PERES MEETS WITH SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTER
Meanwhile, Peres continued last night and today his high-level diplomatic activity of meetings with heads of states from around the world who are in New York for the 40th anniversary celebration of the UN.
An unscheduled meeting was held last night between Peres and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze during a reception for world leaders hosted by President Reagan at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
According to Peres’ advisor, the two spoke for about 25 minutes. They were introduced by an unidentified American official. Peres brought up the issue of Soviet Jewry and the desire of many Jews to leave the Soviet Union for Israel.
At this point, the Israeli advisor reported, the Soviet Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin, who took part in the conversation, interjected and said that the problem is not emigration to Israel but the fact that many of those Jews who leave the Soviet Union do not go to Israel but rather to the United States.
Shevardnadze reportedly told Peres that a meeting between himself and the Israeli Premier should be considered for some time after the summit meeting between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva November 19-20.
MEETING WITH OTHER WORLD LEADERS
Peres also met last night, at the reception, with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India. Peres was introduced to the Indian leader by Secretary of State George Shultz, and the two Premiers reportedly held “a friendly conversation” for 15 minutes.
“They agreed that the relations between the two countries should be deepened,” Peres’ advisor said.
The Israeli Premier met for 45 minutes this morning with Canada’s Premier Brian Mulroney at the UN Plaza Hotel. Peres invited him to visit Israel and the Canadian Premier accepted. He will visit Israel sometime at the beginning of next year.
“I congratulate you for your peace initiative and I am happy that Hussein reacted the way he did,” Mulroney reportedly told Peres. In addition, the two Premiers discussed the establishment of a mutual research and development fund between Canada and Israel.
A total black out was imposed on Peres’ meeting yesterday with British Premier Margaret Thatcher at the request of the British leader. It was learned, however, that the discussions were centered on the prospects for peace in the Mideast and Peres’ new peace proposals to Jordan.
Peres is leaving for Paris tonight after a late afternoon meeting at the UN with Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar. He will have a working lunch in Paris tomorrow with President Francois Mitterrand.