Question of Palestine home
3 March 1971
3 March 1971
LETTER DATED 2 MARCH 1971 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF
THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE
I have the honour to refer to your "further report" on the activities of your Special Representative to the Middle East, contained in document S/10070/Add.1 dated 1 February 1971, in which Your Excellency appealed to the parties concerned to withhold fire and exercise military restraint, and to our conversation about this report.
In this connexion, and upon instructions from my Government, I am enclosing the portions of the statement of Mr. Anwar El Sadat, President of the United Arab Republic, before the National Assembly of the United Arab Republic on 4 February 1971 in which he responded to Your Excellency's appeal.
I have the honour to request that this letter and the annex thereof be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
) Mohammed H. EL-ZAYYAT
Also issued under the symbol A/8292.
EXCERPTS FROM THE STATEMENT BY MR. ANWAR EL SADAT, PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC, BEFORE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF
THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC ON 4 FEBRUARY 1971
Our co-operation was unlimited and unconditional with the United Nations Secretary-General and with his special envoy entrusted with the task of following up the implementation of the Security Council resolution. Then, this week, we reached a crossroad:
- The enemy continues its occupation of our land and tries to stabilize this occupation by changing the nature of the land, especially in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and by establishing colonies in the Syrian Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Desert;
- We cannot stand silent before what is taking place, and our sacred duty, that cannot be denied us by anybody, is to liberate the land and renew the fighting with the enemy;
- The contacts in the United Nations have not until now realized a satisfactory result because the enemy continues its intransigence and defiance not only to us, but also the whole world community and the principles of international law from the first to the last letter; and,
- There are different parties who are trying by all means to convince us to extend the cease-fire period even for a few weeks.
We come now to our conception of our forthcoming steps as imposed upon us by the values which we maintain, the principles which we uphold and our commitments towards world peace and the international community.
I have examined all aspects of the situation with the political and military leaderships and with all the institutions of contemplation and decision-making of our régime. Extensive discussions took place in the Cabinet, the National Defence Council and the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union. The considerations which were laid before us were - briefly - as follows:
- We cannot, nor is it right for us to do so, let the cease-fire be renewed automatically as long as no progress was made in Ambassador Gunnar Jarring's efforts. For, if we did so, it would have meant that the cease-fire lines might have become a fait accompli, or might have even become political lines, as happened in connexion with the Armistice Lines of 1949, and that we could not allow to happen under any conditions.
- We were aware of the extensive, and unfortunately clever, endeavours which are being made to delude world public opinion by projecting the problem to it incorrectly, presenting it in such light as to make it seem as if it has shrunk down to a question of firing or ceasing the fire, with the consequent illusion resulting from this faulty simplification that the party which would begin firing would be considered as being intransigent.
Aggression is the basis of the whole problem. Aggression is represented by imposing the occupation by the force of fire, whereas firing for the purpose of removing the occupation is the natural, legitimate and legal right - indeed, it is the sacred duty - of all those who respect and believe in freedom on any land and for every people.
- We must be frank with ourselves and admit that so far we failed to find in all Israel's statements or behaviour, whether at the United Nations in New York or on the territory of the crisis area in the Middle East, one single indication of its readiness to implement the Security Council resolution. Indeed, all indications point to its relentless endeavours to impede and annul its effectiveness as well as to obstruct all the international efforts that are being exerted to solve
The simplest proof of this fact is that talking about peace is incompatible with the continued occupation of the land, nor is it compatible with the continuation of the arrogance and foolishness based on force.
In spite of this, the United Nations Secretary-General had a different viewpoint, which he has put forward in the report submitted to the Security Council, which contained his appeal to the parties to the dispute. He said, in this report, that though he admitted that there was need for further clarification, he nevertheless found room for cautious optimism. He based his "cautious optimism" - as he said - upon the fact that the parties have resumed their contacts with Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, that some progress has been achieved in defining the positions of the parties and that the parties, who have expressed their desire to
implement the Security Council's resolution, were now defining in more detail their viewpoints about their commitments resulting from this resolution. The United Nations Secretary-General concluded his report by appealing to the parties to continue playing their role in the discussions in a constructive manner and to co-operate with Ambassador Jarring with a view to implementing the Security Council resolution.
At the end, there was the appeal made by the United Nations Secretary-General in this difficult situation to exercise self-control and renew the cease-fire on 5 February, when the current cease-fire period comes to an end.
- In this atmosphere, there were quite a number of the Security Council member States, in which we had confidence regarding their understanding of our stance and their sympathy with our struggle, which approached us in another urgent attempt to resort to self-restraint.
When the United Nations Secretary-General launched his appeal, they told us that they thought about it. Commenting on it, they stated that the United Nations Secretary-General's decision to proclaim his appeal at this serious juncture through which the Middle East was passing, implies that the United Nations Secretary-General, by virtue of his position and responsibility, is of the opinion that he had reasons to believe that there are possibilities of achieving real progress towards
implementing the Security Council resolution. They were of the view that it might be advisable to provide, on our part, for the United Nations Secretary-General the atmosphere that would help him to implement the Security Council resolution, which is the very task entrusted to him by the Council in the text of the resolution dated 22 November 1967.
Our profound, sincere and responsible discussions have led us to define our position as follows:
- The United Arab Republic considers itself as being committed to the one and only responsibility of liberating the territories occupied during the 1967 aggression.
This is a major commitment, and all our political, military, economic and diplomatic actions should be geared towards this end, and all sacrifices should be made, however dearly they may cost.
The first commitment of any nation is that which it has towards its freedom within the framework of the principles of international law. No one can ever ask it for, or impose upon it, a commitment contrary to the foregoing one, on the basis of which it has to reserve to itself the right to freedom of action concerning the prospects facing it.
- While adhering to this first and most important commitment, we accept the United Nations Secretary-General's appeal and have decided to maintain the cease-fire for a period that we cannot extend beyond thirty days, ending 7 March. The Secretary-General and the entire international community must, during this period, be sure that there is real progress as regards the core of the problem and not only its external aspects.
We deem it necessary for the Security Council to be informed before the end of this period of a report by the Secretary-General on the progress made, though we know now, and have always known, that Israel, with the United States
support and assistance, shall not progress beyond its present attitude. However, we pray to God that practical experience will prove that our doubts were unfounded.