Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Soviet Union to Seek Middle East Solution at Forthcoming General Assembly Session

April 23, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Soviet Union served notice today that it expected a full discussion of the Arab-Israel dispute when the United Nations General Assembly resumes sessions on Wednesday. There are three items on the Assembly agenda — the non-proliferation treaty. Southwest Africa and the Middle East dispute — and the Russians had been expected to seek to have the session concentrate on ratification of the non-proliferation treaty. Some sources ascribed to the visit to Moscow of Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad the apparent change in the Soviet plans.

The Soviet delegation said today that Vassily V. Kuznetsov, First Deputy Foreign Minister, had arrived to head the Soviet delegation. The Soviet announcement pointed out that “one important issue on the agenda of the General Assembly is the situation in the Middle East.” It said that “the Soviet delegation, together with the delegations of other states, will bend its efforts with a view to speedy liquidation of the consequences of Israel aggression against Arab states and securing a political settlement in the Middle East.”

The Soviet announcement followed visits earlier in the day by Mohammed el-Kony, head of the Egyptian delegation and other delegation heads, to the president of the General Assembly, Corneliu Manescu, the Rumanian Foreign Minister. Ambassador Yosef Tekoah is to see M. Manescu on Wednesday morning.


The United Nations disclosed tonight that Secretary-General U Thant will soon designate a special representative in the Middle East to investigate the condition of the civilian populations in the areas affected by the Arab-Israeli war. The envoy, whose appointment will be in accordance with the humanitarian resolution adopted by the General Assembly last year, will investigate the treatment of the Jewish minorities in the Arab countries as well as the treatment of the Arab population in the areas occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War.

This will be the second such mission set up by the United Nations. Last year, Mr. Thant named Neils Gussing, a Swedish diplomat, to make such a study for the UN. Egypt refused to let the envoy study the treatment of the Jews, there. The Syrian authorities gave him heavily escorted tours through the Jewish quarter of Damascus but no opportunity for first-hand investigation.

Diplomatic circles attached significance to the fact that the announcement of the new mission was made virtually on the eve of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly although Mr. Thant was in Teheran today for the international conference on human rights.

Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the UN’s special envoy in the Middle East, flew from his Nicosia headquarters to Teheran today to see Mr. Thant and to report to him on the current status of his peace-seeking mission. He was to return to Cyprus tonight and fly on to Jerusalem tomorrow for another meeting with Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban and other Israeli officials.

Recommended from JTA