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Cairo Reports Egypt Agrees to Peace Talks in New York with UN Envoy Jarring

May 10, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Egyptian Government was reported today to have agreed to participate in peace talks in New York under the supervision of Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East. The report was received here after Dr. Jarring had a two-hour meeting in Cairo today with Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad after which he proposed that his peace explorations, conducted over the past three months from his Cyprus headquarters and involving repeated visits to Amman, Cairo and Jerusalem, be transferred to New York. There was no formal confirmation of the report from the United Nations where a report from Dr. Jarring was awaited.

An Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman in Cairo indicated clearly today that the talks would not include face-to-face confrontations between the Arab representatives and Israelis. He told newsmen that Egypt was “fully prepared to cooperate with Ambassador Jarring for achieving a just and peaceful settlement” in the Middle East. He asserted that “we expressed readiness to continue to talk with Ambassador Jarring within the framework of the Security Council resolution of last November 22. We took note of his desires to hold deliberations in New York and we said we agreed to this without prejudice to the United Arab Republic’s position vis-a-vis the Security Council resolution which the UAR accepted and once fully implemented.” The spokesman insisted that direct negotiations between the Arab states and Israel in New York are “out of the question.”


The new development came as the Security Council resumed discussion on the status of Jerusalem in a continuation of the debate on Jordan’s complaint against the holding of the Israel Independence Day parade in Jerusalem and as Israel and Jordan traded charges of aggression and responsibility for the present situation in the Middle East. The exchange of complaints was initiated by Egypt which announced, in a letter to the Security Council, its support of the Palestinians “exercising their inherent right to resist the foreign occupation imposed on them” by Israeli aggression; accused Israel of perpetrating Nazi-type horrors and of pursuing “an aggressive and expansionist policy.” Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, in a detailed and documented reply for Israel, carried the attack to Egypt starting with its invasion of Israel in 1948 and with its massing of troops on the Israeli border in May, 1967, which precipitated the Six-Day War.

In the Security Council, Algeria circulated a draft resolution which would order Israel to revoke its “administrative orders regarding annexation of Jerusalem” within two weeks under penalty of sanctions, including military measures. Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, speaking in the Council today, indicated that the United States would not support such a course. He stated firmly that the United States did not recognize “unilateral actions” altering the status of Jerusalem and could not consider them as other than “interim and provisional.” But he made a plea to the Council not to try to tackle the problem of Middle East peace by “attempting to deal separately with individual aspects.” He called for action to “promote an agreed peaceful and accepted solution embracing all the aspects of the complex and multi-faceted Middle East problem comprehended in our resolution of Nov. 22.”

The envoy then proposed that “we promptly find a means to make clear this Council’s continuous united will to promote the cause of peace in the Middle East by supporting Ambassador Jarring’s efforts in pursuit of his mandate.

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