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Harmel Says Peace in Mideast Must Be Based on Political, Diplomatic Harmony

August 2, 1971
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Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel, discussing at a press conference his recent visit to the Middle East, said today that his position on the European Economic Community’s “working paper” on the Middle East-which Israel opposes-was similar to that of West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel. The West Germany diplomat declared, during a tumultuous visit to Israel last month, that his country did not believe that “a total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territories is a pre-requisite to peace in the region.” The “working paper,” fostered by France but still not officially issued, calls for total Israel withdrawal. Harmel was asked his views on the question of total withdrawal and his interpretation of the 1967 Security Council resolution 242, which proposed “withdrawal” without specifying total withdrawal. He replied: “I refuse to make interpretations,” adding that such questions could “provoke differences” between the European countries. He said peace in the Middle East must be based on a continuation of political and diplomatic “harmony” and that he had found a “wish for peace” in all the Mideast countries he had visited. He discussed the crackdown by King Hussein of Jordan on guerrillas which reached a climax during his visit to Jordan. He said the situation in Jordan had become “much better.”

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