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Eban Meets with Foreign Ministers

October 3, 1973
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Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, in a round of meetings with foreign ministers in preparation for the upcoming debate in the General Assembly on the Middle East and his address to the Assembly tomorrow, told the Belgian foreign minister that “sterile debates” and “extreme resolutions” emanating from the world organization can only harm progress toward peace in the Mideast. Eban also stated that Israel will emphasize at the UN its readiness to negotiate with the Arabs for a settlement in the Mideast. According to a spokesman for the Israeli Mission to the UN, the Belgian foreign minister told Eban that there is no European plan to settle the Mideast conflict.

Reports from Israel indicated that Eban will present what he termed a flexible approach to the problem during his address in order to underline that Israel is willing to reach a solution in the Mideast and to avoid criticism and harsh resolutions against Israel by some of the Assembly members. He will also discuss detente and the need to combat terrorism and is expected to touch on the Austrian decision to close the transit facility.


In his hectic round of meetings, the Israeli diplomat conferred yesterday with the foreign ministers of Gabon, Mexico, the Ivory Coast and met today with the foreign ministers of Senegal, the Bahamas and Sierre Leone. On Thursday he is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger for lunch. That evening, Eban and his wife are scheduled to have dinner with Dr. Kissinger.

According to the Mission spokesman, Eban accepted an invitation by Gabon’s foreign minister to visit his country and plans to go there early next year. The spokesman also reported that Mexico’s foreign minister accepted Eban’s invitation to visit Israel and plans to go there in early 1971.

In his meetings with several of the foreign ministers Eban discussed international and bilateral relations, and in his meeting with the Belgian foreign minister he discussed Israel’s relation with the Common Market. According to the Mission spokesman Eban is spending most of his limited time here explaining Israel’s position to African states which are under strong Libyan pressure to weak on their ties with Israel.

The first Arab university on the West Bank opened this week in the Anglican Monastery in Bethlehem. Brother Joseph Marry said it would include faculties in the humanities, science, economy and public administration. The university is seeking recognition by universities in Arab countries.

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