Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah said here that Israel welcomes the extension of the mandate for the 7000-member United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) for another six months but stressed that Israel would oppose allowing any Communist bloc countries to inspect its position. The Soviet Union had insisted that UNEF units which now occupy a buffer zone between Egyptian forces on the east bank of the Suez Canal and Israeli forces deployed in the Sinai be permitted to inspect both Egyptian and Israeli zones.
The 15-member Security Council yesterday extended the life of UNEF until Oct. 24 by a vote of 13-0 with Iraq and the People’s Republic of China not participating in the vote. The Chinese delegate, however, assailed Israel and pledged support to the Arab efforts to regain their territories and to help the Palestinians in their efforts to establish their own state. Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik stated that the Geneva peace conference “must carry out its principle mission of pressing for a radical political settlement” of which UNEF is part.
The resolution did not contain any reference to the question of freedom of access by UNEF officers but only noted “with satisfaction that Secretary General Kurt Waldheim is working to solve the “urgent” problem. According to reports Tekoah and Malik had met secretly last Friday to discuss the differences. Yesterday neither would confirm nor deny that they had met.
Action on the extension of UNEF’s mandate had been delayed a week because of the Soviet position. Waldheim recommended the extension last week and noted that while the Israeli-Egyptian sector currently was quiet, “the situation in the area remains unstable and potentially dangerous.”
FOREMOST DUTY IS TO ENSURE TRANQUILITY
Tekoah, in his statement last night to the press, did not refer to any country by name. But he declared that “states guilty of a discriminatory and biased policy toward a party to the conflict are not entitled to demand free access to areas under the party’s control, for their military contingents or for those of other states that have adopted similar inequitable positions.”
He recalled that a report by the UN Secretary General in 1960 to the Security Council stated that a force should not include permanent members of the Council or countries not having a special interest in the situation, and that the UN should seriously consider objections by the host government against the participation of any specific country.
Tekoah stated that the “foremost and most evident duty” of the parties involved in the Mideast conflict is “to ensure tranquility which is indispensable for a constructive peaceful endeavor.” Those who place their trust in the use of force and in continued hostility against Israel “have not learned the lessons of the decades of conflict,” he said. Violence and bloodshed “have failed to affect Israel’s resolve to defend its rights in the past.” Tekoah said. “They will fail now and in the future.”
The Israeli diplomat observed that Israeli the Arab states “can build peace in the area if they devote themselves wholeheartedly to the task of peace-making. It must be a joint effort in which construction replaces devastation, mutual confidence removes mistrust, neighborly understanding and cooperation put an end to animosity and belligerency.” Tekoah added that Israel has “no illusions about the difficulties and perhaps setbacks which these efforts might encounter. However, the objective is attainable if the parties so will it.”
In these circumstances, Tekoah stated, “it is essential for the intricate peace-making process that third powers refrain from attitudes and actions that might increase tension and exacerbate conflict. It is incumbent on nations outside the area not to hinder, disturb or interrupt this process. This applies above all to policies pursued in the Middle East itself, but it includes also positions adopted in United Nations organs.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.