NEW YORK (Sep. 22)
Peru has reaffirmed its policy of friendship with Israel, denying there had been any change in that policy which had been attributed to remarks made by President Alan Garcia in Lima. “President Garcia and his government in no way have changed the traditional policy of good relations and friendship with the State of Israel,” Cesar Atala, Peru’s Ambassador in Washington, wrote Israel Singer, Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress.
Atala was responding to a cable from Singer expressing concern at remarks made by President Garcia at a Lima news conference following his return from the non-aligned summit in Zimbabwe last week.
Garcia reportedly stated — in comments carried by the Peruvian press — that resolution of the Middle East impasse required Israel to withdraw to borders specified in the 1947 United Nations partition plan and that sanctions against Israel to ensure compliance should be enforced.
Singer’s cable on behalf of the WJC said the Jewish group viewed Garcia’s remarks “with extreme gravity,” recalling the “friendship and support the Jewish people has shown” for the restoration of democracy in Peru. Singer wrote Atala, “I hope and trust that our faith in your President is not misplaced.”
“We trust that you will understand the sensitivities of world Jewry towards any statements regarding the security of the State of Israel,” Singer added.
In his reply to Singer, Atala noted that “fortunately the facts do not seem to support your and my concern.” The Ambassador expressed assurances that Garcia had stressed there was no change in Peru’s Middle East position.
“Precisely on Saturday last, President Garcia … reasserted Peru’s position on this matter,” Atala stated, adding that “President Garcia will be duly informed about the expressions of concern and good will” received from the WJC.