Gromyko Calls for Early Resumption of Geneva Mideast Peace Conference
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Gromyko Calls for Early Resumption of Geneva Mideast Peace Conference

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The Soviet Union today reiterated its call for the early resumption of the Geneva peace conference on the Middle East. Addressing the 31st UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko said that although tension in the Middle East has been protracted, it is not hopeless, but there are necessary steps to be taken to reach a settlement.

Observing that the Geneva conference unfortunately is “still inactive,” Gromyko said that “The Soviet Union stands for a resumption of its work, the sooner the better, for a consideration by it of all the major issues of a Middle East settlement.”

He repeated the Soviet position that “The withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Arab territories occupied in 4967; the fulfillment of the legitimate national demands of the Arab people of Palestine, including their inalienable right to create their own state; the provision of international security guarantees for all states in the Middle East, including Israel,” must be the elements of a settlement.

The Soviet Foreign Minister maintained a low key in speaking of Israel. He insisted, nevertheless, that “There can be no doubt that so long as the occupation by Israel of Arab land continues, so long as the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine are trampled upon, the Middle East will be in a state of fever time and again.”


Max Van Der Stoel, the Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister, told the Assembly that “a solution of the Mideast conflict will only be possible if the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to give affective expression to its national identity, is translated into fact.” He also said that negotiations among the parties concerned are essential for a Mideast settlement.

Van Der Stoel, who is also president of the Council of Ministers of the European Communities, reaffirmed the support of the Common Market countries of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, He said there are four principles for a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict:

“The inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force; the need for Israel to end the territorial occupation which it has maintained since the conflict of 1967; respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; recognition that in the establishment of a just and lasting peace, account must be taken of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.”


West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher, warning that the situation in the Middle East is “a constant threat to world peace,” told the Assembly that his country regards the right of the Palestinians “to establish a state authority” of their own and the right of Israel to live “within secure and recognized boundaries” to be the essentials of a Middle East peace settlement.

In what was a reiteration of Bonn’s position, Genscher said that a Middle East settlement, “apart from providing for the termination of the territorial occupation, should make allowances for the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, including the right to establish a state authority and for Israel’s right to live within secure and recognized boundaries.”

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