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        Security Council
15 January 1976

1874th MEETING

1874th MEETING Held in New York on Thursday, 15 January 1976, at 3.30 p.m.

President: Mr. Salim A. SALIM
(United Republic of Tanzania)

Present: The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania and United States of America. I Adoption of the agenda

2. The Middle East problem including the Palestinian question

The meeting was called to order at 4.05 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

1. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the decisions taken by the Council at previous meetings [1870th-1873rd meetings], I invite the representatives of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Arab rotates and Yugoslavia, in conformity with the usual Practice and with the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion without the right to vote. In accord-with the decision taken by the Council [1870th ]. I invite the representative of the Palestine ion Organization to participate in the discussion.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Khaddoumi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Security council table, Mr. Bishara (Kuwait), Mr. El Hassen (Mauritania) Mr. Jamal (Qatar), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabian), Mr. Ghobash (United Arab Emirates) and Mr. Petrie (Yugoslavia) took places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

2. The PRESIDENT: The Security Council will now continue its examination of the question on the agenda.

The first speaker is the representative of Kuwait. In accordance with the established practice, I request the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to withdraw temporarily from the Council table in order that his place may be taken by the representative of Kuwait. I now invite that representative to take that place at the Council table and to make his statement.

3. Mr. BISHARA (Kuwait): And so, after three decades, we are still at square one with regard to the question of the rights of the Palestinians. More than eight years have elapsed since the adoption of Security Council resolution 242 (1967). Let me say, in all fairness, that rarely, if ever, has such a resolution triggered so much publicity, despite its considerable ambiguity. Needless to say, some find a shelter in that ambiguity to consolidate their expansionist designs, while others have made it a cornerstone of their foreign policy on the Middle East. Events have already proved that resolution 242 (1967) is not only ambiguous but seriously defective. Its major defect is its inability to address itself fundamentally to the question of the people of Palestine. And because of that defect the proverbial resolution 242 (1967) has become obsolete and ineffective. In our view, it is like the pyramids of Egypt—it is often quoted despite the fact that it is soulless and useless and has attraction only for tourists.

4. Resolution 242(1967) departed from the crux of the conflict of the Middle East. The occupation by Israel of Arab territories is a derivative, a branch, but the tragedy of the people of Palestine is its pith and marrow. It is the gist of the whole problem. Other issues are consequences, branches or offshoots, but not the roots. That is why we view the often quoted yet crippled resolution 242 (1967) with justified ambivalence. Events have proved that we are not mistaken in our attitude towards that resolution, in which some Members of the United Nations found the antidote or the cure, if you like,-needed to remedy the situation. Arab territories occupied since 1967 can be regained either through action under Chapter VII of the Charter or, if the Council fails to act, they can ultimately be liberated by force. They constitute a problem, but not an insurmountable type of problem.

5. The crucial issue is the right of the people of Palestine to self-determination and independence. This valiant, vibrant and indestructible people, whose will to survive has not been eroded by the misery of refugee camps, is not different from any other nation that has achieved national status within the international community. Its land was robbed by alien settlers, its property confiscated by foreign immigrants and its elementary and primordial right to self-determination, sovereignty and independence in its homeland denied by a conglomeration of foreign Powers and insidious Zionist adventurers. In 1948, the majority of the people of Palestine found itself consigned to refugee camps whose condition was at best bleak, at worst subhuman. Israel and its supporters mistakenly thought that the consignment of the Palestinians to the camps of hopelessness would crush their spirit of resistance and force them to abandon their inalienable right to repatriation and sovereignty in their own homeland. They banked on time and its power to erode the will of the Palestinians and turn them into servile, submissive creatures. They proved to be wrong. Israel knows, and we know, that it cannot escape scot-free with its spoils and pillage from Arabs and within Arab territories. Hardly has any nation suffered more deeply, yet emerged stronger and more tenacious in its struggle than did the people of Palestine. The agony and the anguish of the camps have generated in this nation an indomitable spirit of resistance instead of resignation and submission. The pain of the diaspora suffered by the people of Palestine has spawned a fearless and dauntless determination to regain what was usurped by brutal force, instead of abject capitulation to the wishes of Israel and its supporters. The people of Palestine have been forced for many years to live as the captives of the annual begging bowl, which provides barely enough to keep body and soul together and to subsidize their continuance in the lamentable conditions of the camps.

6. After the abysmal failure of the international community to redress the wrongs inflicted upon them, they resorted to armed struggle. It is not the product of expediency, but it is the outcome of necessity. They did so—to quote their spokesman, my friend and brother, Mr. Khaddoumi, who is sitting modestly on my right—when they despaired of peacefully recovering their national rights and the primordial, elementary right to sovereignty, and thus declared that armed struggle was the only means to achieve the liberation of their homeland and to attain their national rights.

7. No doubt the people of Palestine are gifted with two remarkable and unusual talents: one is patience, and the other is resilience. Otherwise, how can we—we who belong to the area and identify with the tribulations and grievances of the Palestinians, we who, indeed, identify ourselves, part and parcel, flesh and soul, with the tribulations of the Palestinian people— explain their fortitude and survival for three decades in refugee camps situated within walking distance from their homes, and their constant search for a peaceful solution in spite of the magnitude of their tragedy and the heinousness of the crimes perpetrated against them? In their resilience they have already set this example of how a people, determined to regain the right denied to it, is not benumbed by doses of annual charity or the inducement of a comfortable assimilation outside their own homeland; I know this from experience, simply because I represent Kuwait and I know what kind of inducement and attraction is displayed for the assimilation of the Palestinians in our surrounding areas.

8. In all fairness, one marvels at the equanimity and stoicism which the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), my friend and brother Mr. Khaddoumi, displayed in his statement the other day [ibid.]. He did not speak with bitterness or hatred. He showed that life in refugee camps is not only insulting to human dignity but is also something to be dreaded even for his own enemies. He preached equality for all sides. In other words, he does not wish to see his enemies endure the misery and privation of the refugee camps which he and his kith and kin have been experiencing for the last three decades. In his words, there is no craving for revenge, no thirst for primitive vendetta, no desire to place anybody in the horrible degradation of the refugee camps.

9. Some argue that the Palestinians do not recognize the existence of Israel, and therefore do not qualify to be a real party to the conflict. In our view, this is a demented logic. How can we expect the Palestinians to recognize Israel when the latter denies their existence as a nation? And I do not like to elaborate on this; quotations abound to that effect. How can we expect the victims of the gladiators to recognize the right of their oppressors to divest them of their national sovereignty and evict them from their own homeland? How can we expect the Palestinians, who have hitherto been treated as subhuman, all of a sudden to become superhuman and recognize the right of the gladiators to butcher them?

10. One should give credit to the Palestinians who have so transcended their tribulations and are charitable enough to forget and forgive for the sake of building a better future. After all, what do the Palestinians want? They simply want self-determination. In that demand they do not depart from the Charter of the United Nations. They are not different from the Member States assembled in this body and in the : General Assembly. They are not different from any of us. They are flesh, blood, brain and marrow, like us. They have not asked for the impossible, but their yearnings are the same as those of all other nations which have an inalienable and primordial right to self-determination and sovereignty in their own home-lands. They know that a decision of the Security Council will not return to them their lost properties and homeland unless it is accompanied by the necessary action under Chapter VII of the Charter, and they know, as we know too, that we are building a castle on the moon if we ask for that. In spite of the abuse of the veto in the past—and how frequently this occurred when the national rights of the Palestinians were at stake—they hope that the international community will still come to their rescue.

11. Some may ask what the Palestinians want. The answer simply is that they want self-determination and independence, as I stated earlier. They are weary of life in the refugee camps. They resist assimilation. They have revolted against the life of the diaspora. The Palestinians do not want to be dispersed any more. They want the Security Council to give the signal for their return to their homeland. They do not want to wrest from others territories which they do not own. They look for a decent life after three decades of consignment to the abominable sordidness of refugee camps. The Council can and should assist them in their endeavour for a better life in the future. None of them forgets that the United Nations owes them so much after its illegal and graceless decision to partition their homeland without their consent or approval and without consulting them. The Council should take a decision that recognizes the rights of the people of Palestine to self-determination, independence and sovereignty. It is imperative to do so not only because of the realities of the situation—and those who oppose the realities of the situation find themselves isolated, not because they are supporting the anti-Palestinian forces but because they are supporting anti-realistic forces—but also because of the injustices imposed upon them by the United Nations. In other words, the United Nations is called upon to grasp the realities in the area, without which peace will remain as evasive as a mirage in the desert of Kuwait or Arabia.

12. The response of Israel to the debate in the Security Council is the establishment of five additional Jewish settlements in the Syrian Golan Heights. That decision, which is fully in harmony with Israel's policy of territorial expansion, was publicized at a moment of anger with the United Nations, simply because the United Nations had the courage to listen to the representative of the PLO without permission from the Zionists in Tel Aviv. What does Israel say about those settlements? It says they are for defensive purposes against any possible Arab attack. But Israel and the world at large know clearly and unequivocally that the Arabs will not under any circumstances accept the annexation of their territories by Israel. No nation, big or small, fragile or strong, would accept the incorporation of its territories by a neighbour simply because the latter is in need of those territories for defence. That argument boils down to a recipe for war and military onslaught. It is not a prescription for Peace.

13. If Israel is really and genuinely interested in peace, then the whole world can bear witness to the fact that the signals for that cherished peace have already been given by Arab States. The Arabs ask for complete withdrawal from all the territories occupied by Israel. The Israelis, who are still captives of the Mentality of the holocaust of the Second World War respond by building settlements under the pretext of acquiring defence borders. There are no fewer than 65 Jewish settlements built on Arab soil. Yet the world expects the Arabs to exhibit patience and tolerance while their territories are gradually, imperceptibly and clandestinely absorbed. It is not sufficient to adopt resolutions without taking appropriate action for their implementation. Otherwise we can say in all frankness that the world has resigned itself to reiterating principles without any follow-up to translate those principles into action. States find it easy to reaffirm provisions of the Charter on the assumption that this reaffirmation provides comfort to their consciences.

14. The realities of the situation have proved that much more is needed than mere declaratory pronouncements. So long as territories are occupied by foreign troops, nations will go on fighting regardless of what others think, until the liberation of those territories is realized. The Arabs in this context are not different from any other nation. They will not let Israel squat on their land forever and retain a submissive and passive attitude. They will not prostrate themselves before the diktat of Israel. The way to stave off any future hostilities lies not in inducing the Arabs to overlook the occupation ^f their land but in bringing Israel to task through collective measures enshrined in Chapter VII of the Charter. We should learn from the lessons of history, since history has been quoted so frequently in this chamber. Let me say that the German High Command, at the close of the last century, insisted on incorporating small portions of France for self-defence. That decision was one of the causes that triggered the First World War. Israel is in duty bound by law, by the Charter and by the provisions of the resolutions of the United Nations to withdraw simply, quietly and unceremoniously from Arab territories.

15. If Israel chooses to do otherwise, as it has been doing thus far, it will incur hostilities, invite bloodshed and call for more wars. It is up to Israel to choose between giving up its occupation of Arab territories and war, between retaining the fruits of aggression and relinquishing them to uphold the rule of law and to live in accordance with the dictates of the Charter. It apparently opts for territories instead of peace, but it will eventually get neither. In 1973, when the Security Council was called upon to take drastic measures .to retrieve Arab territories occupied by Israel, the United States saw fit to veto that draft resolution [S/10974 of 24 July 1973}. It, as well as others, did not believe that the Arabs would launch a campaign to recover their lands in 1973. The war of 1973 surprised even the most credulous. Even now, while we discuss the issue of withdrawal, many States are unperceptive to warnings to the effect that the continuation of the occupation of Arab territories will spark off and invite another war. There is a trend to underrate Arab insistence on total evacuation of territories. But those who refuse to face the realities of the situation will prove to be wrong, as was the case in 1973.

16. My plea to the Council is this: let no consideration, whatever its nature, divert the Council from its duty to act vigorously and promptly to ensure Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories. Let no Power, whatever the means at its disposal, thwart or scuttle the will of the Council to live up to its responsibilities in demanding the evacuation of Arab territories occupied by force. The alternative will be more wars and more bloodshed.

17. The two indispensable elements of peace are the realization of the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Arab territories. Those are the two major tenets on which all our efforts must be based. Compromising on either one of them will spell disaster. We are called upon to uphold the rule of law and the principles enshrined in our highly cherished Charter. Peace cannot be firmly maintained if oppression, injustice, tribulations or misery overpower men. The Security Council is in duty bound to establish the principle of legality to guarantee national rights as well as individual rights and fundamental freedoms, without which true peace cannot exist on a durable and solid basis. It should work to eliminate threats to peace by punishing aggression, by divesting the aggressor of the fruits of its aggression and by suppressing every threat to peace by collective measures. Israel has violated every sacred principle in the Charter. It should be forced to renounce the use offeree as an instrument of territorial aggrandizement. It should be compelled to respect the integrity of Arab territories and the sovereign and primordial rights of the Palestinian people in their own homeland. It cannot be pampered forever and encouraged to persist in its role as a destroyer of all international morality. What better proof do we need of Israel's contempt for international morality than its refusal to attend the present debates of the Security Council. The Council should respond in kind, acting on a timetable for withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and for active measures to restore to the people of Palestine their inalienable national and primordial rights and their human rights.

18. And, Mr. President, let me say it is fortunate that the debate on the rights of the people of Palestine is taking place under your presidency. After all you are the redoubtable Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, whose mandate is the elimination of colonialism and foreign domination. The question under discussion is entirely in line with the competence of the Committee which you have been chairing so ably. The people of Palestine cannot have a better choice. I congratulate them indeed on this unexpected coincidence as much as I congratulate you, Mr. President, on the assumption of the presidency of this supreme body for the month of January. I am confident that the qualities that you possess and of which I am aware will be utilized on behalf of a just and noble cause.

19. The debate is a historic occasion for peace in an area whose history is rent by blood-spurting and mutilation. No one can afford to miss this opportunity But let me remind the Council in all fairness of the fact that resolution 242 (1967) hovers around the camps of the Palestinian refugees like a sinister ghost beaming out messages that they are permanently doomed to the squalid life of the camps. It is incumbent upon the Council to offer a glimpse of light at the end of a long, arduous and bleak tunnel.

20. The PRESIDENT: I would request the representative of Kuwait to withdraw from the Council table so that the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic may resume his place. The next speaker is the representative of Yugoslavia. I would therefore ask the representative of Egypt to withdraw temporarily from his place so that the representative of Yugoslavia may come to the Council table. I now invite that representative to make his statement.

21. Mr. PETRIC (Yugoslavia): Mr. President, although I am not a member of the Council, let me congratulate you on your assumption of its presidency for the first month of 1976. The excellent and friendly relations prevailing between our two non-aligned countries give me an added pleasure in doing so. Your country and you yourself are known as true and consistent fighters for the liberation of all Africa and of each of its nations and former colonies from any form of oppression. That fact and your signal performance as Chairman of the Special Committee on behalf of all peoples under colonial rule, as well as your skill, experience and impartiality in both bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, are a guarantee that the Council, faced with complex and responsible tasks in the month of January, is in very capable hands indeed.

22. Now I should like to use this formal and public opportunity to express our great sorrow over the passing of Chou En-lai, a great revolutionary fighter and leader, a most outstanding statesman and architect of the People's Republic of China. His death is a great loss for China and, consequently, for humanity as a whole. His most impressive, inspiring and often decisive contribution to the outstanding progress of his country remains as a source of constant inspiration, and we are certain that the long and successful march of the Chinese people will continue.

23. My delegation welcomes the Council's decision to hold this debate on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question as very timely and necessary. Indeed, the Security Council, as the organ entrusted by all the Members of the Organization with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, acting on their behalf, could not remain passive and not make every possible effort to do all in its power to undertake effective steps and measures conducive to a comprehensive solution of the crisis which continues to threaten us all and, in some important aspects, to worsen. Therefore, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the solution of the crisis in the Middle East also.

24. It is perhaps not without interest to recall that this is the first comprehensive debate on the matter that the Council has conducted since the one held in the spring and summer of 1973, and it is perhaps not without interest also to recall the vast changes in the Middle East with regard to the Palestinian question and in the entire international landscape that have taken place since then.

25. Against the background of the firm resolve and proved capability of the Arab peoples to wage an effective struggle for the liberation of their occupied and annexed territories, the ever-increasing number and strengthening of the role and influence of non-aligned countries, together with others opposed to aggression, the acquisition of territories by force and the denial of the rights of peoples, two major and directly relevant changes have taken place.

26. First, the international community's final recognition, through the United Nations and otherwise, of the centrality of the Palestinian question for the solution of the Middle East crisis and recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, as determined in General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX), 3375 (XXX), 3376 (XXX) and 3414 (XXX). At the same time the General Assembly has recognized the right of the PLO, as the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate on an equal footing with the other parties in all peace efforts concerning the Middle East, including, of course, the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East.

27. The members of the world community—all of us-are aware of the momentous importance of this change after the long denial of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and its sole representatives and after stubborn attempts to relegate the Palestinian question to the status of a mere humanitarian issue of assistance to refugees.

28. My Government and country, acting especially within the framework of the non-aligned movement and the solemn decisions of its conferences, are proud of the role they have played in bringing this overdue of historic justice to the Palestinian people.

29. At this juncture, I should like to both welcome and congratulate the whole delegation of the PLO and its leader Mr. Khaddoumi on taking, as equal partners, their seat at the Council table. That in itself constitutes both an irreversible step and the most recent and significant mark of the new situation, of a new negotiating framework, that is being built and which cannot be undone. To refuse to recognize that new situation, as Israel does, to expect that somehow one can evade, go around the Palestinian question, the Palestinian people, and not deal with the PLO, is to expect them to capitulate. And it is, of course, wholly unrealistic to expect such capitulation from a brave people of such a history, culture and indomitable will to survive and realize its inalienable national rights.

30. We Yugoslavs understand this very well, in the light of our own national liberation struggle. It may be of some interest to the Council that the principle of non-capitulation has been enshrined in the Yugoslav Constitution. Let me here read its article 238, chapter VI, on "National Defence":

31. The second change, which is directly concomitant with, and which indeed results from the first, is the ever wider, practically total rejection and condemnation of Israel's policies of occupation and annexation of the Arab territories on any pretext, of its refusal to recognize the national rights of the Palestinians, and of its policy force, aggression and intimidation.

32. The most recent debates and votes in the Security Council attest anew to the growing isolation, to mention only this, that Israel's sterile, unimaginative, dangerous and increasingly counter-productive policies are encountering. In this new world of ours, the world of true and direct interdependence, and of the increasing influence of an ever growing number of countries that want to play, and do play, an active role in international relations—a role of subjects and not of objects—no one can stop the flow of the mighty rivers of overdue changes.

33. One can boycott a session; one can threaten, time and again, to leave the Organization or some of its organs, or to reduce one's interest and involvement or contribution, but this cannot paralyse the majority any longer. One cannot isolate the world: one can only isolate oneself. This is not a world one can "stop and get off; if one opposes the new, necessary processes and tides instead of working with them, one does not stop them, but merely loses the opportunity to go along with the required progressive developments. Several major international events in recent years—involving Israel, but not only Israel— have proved that unjust and untimely opposition to progressive changes brings only grief to those who oppose them.

34. Of course, the persistent blocking of such changes, while not stopping them, can delay them, heightening tensions, adding dangerous potential to already exacerbated crises and bringing close the possibility of explosive situations leading to wars, and possibly to a general catastrophe. Of no other area is this truer than of the Middle East; of no other policy directly producing such dangers is it truer than of Israel's policy. We must reiterate here that the gravest responsibility rests with Israel, in view of its continued refusal to respect and implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. Israel's refusal not only delays the settlement of the crisis and the establishment of a just and therefore durable peace in the Middle East, in the interest of all peoples and States in the region: it is, at the same time, the main cause of various tensions and explosions around this issue, in the Middle East region and beyond.

35. The constant refusal of Israel to implement any of the United Nations resolutions has been stressed in this and many previous debates. But to that Israel has recently contributed two more specific actions as further evidence not only that it does not want any movement towards a just settlement but that it is actively working to destroy any chance for it. I am, of course, referring to the terrorist raids in Lebanon against the Palestinian camps, in clear retaliation against the Council's decision to have the PLO participate in this debate, and to the establishment of new settlements in the occupied territories, as its "contribution" to this debate.

36. We still vividly recall what followed the Security Council debate in the summer of 1973. The majority draft resolution was vetoed and the Council was prevented from acting. The fourth war in the Middle East ensued. We insist that this must not be permitted to happen again; that the Council must be permitted to act—and to act meaningfully.

37. Addressing myself now to the more specific aspects of what has to be done, what kind of decisions are to be taken, what new room must be created for progress and what changes and realities must be acknowledged, I should like to point out my country's constant support of, and endeavours to contribute to, all efforts aimed at finding a definitive, comprehensive solution—a settlement of the crisis in all its aspects— with the participation of all the parties to the conflict, including, of course, on an equal footing, the PLO.

38. It is our firm position that only within the framework of a settlement based on the total withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 5 June 1967, and of the recognition and realization of the legitimate and inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to establish its own State, can the independent and secure existence of all peoples and States in the region be guaranteed. The right of all States and peoples of the region to peaceful existence, security and free, independent development is essential.

39. It is indispensable to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and its right to participate in all efforts for settling the crisis in the Middle East. It is within this framework that we would support the earliest possible reconvening of the Peace Conference at Geneva, which should be instructed to keep the Security Council and the General Assembly informed of its work and of the results of negotiations. We would also be generally in sympathy with the possible proposal to have the Security Council agree on a timetable for Israel's withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 5 June 1967.

40. Let me now briefly touch upon some familiar positions and arguments that one hears and reads about, that, as usual, suggest that no new step is to be taken, no change to be effected, no updating to be done and that, in the final analysis, really amount to counsels of inaction, of frozen status quo and actual paralysis.

41. We have been told so many times that the differences between parties are so great that only slow and deliberate activities and processes can bring results. I shall not now dwell on the obvious unacceptability of referring to the parties involved in such a way as to obliterate the crucial differences between the aggressor and the victims of aggression; equally, I shall not belabour the evident point that, after three decades of dispersal of the Palestinian people and denial of its basic national rights and after the occupation of 1967, which has now lasted for almost a decade, it is rather misplaced to come to the Palestinians and the Arab States and advocate "slowness and deliberation". What I want to stress is that to advocate any slow approach is simply not practical. We all know what was the outcome of futile attempts to freeze the situation before 1973. Almost two and a half years have now elapsed since the October war of 1973 and, while some partial movement took place, the basic and most acute issues have actually remained untackled. There is a general recognition that we must now make a comprehensive effort, and without delay.

42. Also, it is being said that we must preserve, protect and practically petrify the existing "negotiating framework". For, if we try to change it in any way, it will collapse, there will be no more negotiations, and so on. This is of course not a realistic or wise position to take. What we have now, and what we have had for quite some time, is a "negotiating framework" without negotiations. The negotiating frameworks have to be filled with active negotiations instead of their unchanged existence being used as an excuse against any action.

43. When it comes to the process of negotiation and of peace efforts for a comprehensive settlement, can anyone really seriously maintain that we can have that process without the Palestinians, without the PLO, even after everybody, except Israel, has accepted the fact that the question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East crisis and that, without settling the first, no solution of the second is possible?

44. We have had more than one war and much violence to have this issue recognized by everyone now, except Israel. Shall we wait for another catastrophe in the Middle East in order only then to proceed to an obvious and necessary updating of the negotiating framework?

45. With enough resolution, Israel can be made to recognize the existing realities, in its own best long-term interest. One should recall in this respect the experience of 1956, when sufficient pressure was brought to bear on Israel. Israel's counter-productive obstinacy should not and must not be tolerated to block the way out of the present dangerous situation, and no one should in any way support it in that.

46. Here it is perhaps apposite to underline once again that the Charter does not distinguish between "democratic" and other aggression and that it does not make any distinctions—especially self-serving—on the basis of politico-social systems. Any attempts to introduce such distinctions in the Organization strike at the very foundations of the rational and just international order and at the Charter of the United Nations itself. The victims of air raids, those who suffer under occupation and interference in their internal affairs are not interested in the political system of the aggressor or under what procedure aggression is conducted. They are interested only in aggression being stopped and the aggressor punished.

47. Finally, let me say just a few words on the matter of the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly. Their basic constitutional prerogatives and relations under the Charter are of course clear. It is also very valid to insist that they are organs of the same Organization, based on the same Principles, words and spirit of the Charter, with the same aims and goals, and that they must and do cooperate.

48. At the same time, it is totally unrealistic to imagine that one does not affect the other, often very directly, and that one can shield oneself, say, in the Council, against the political trends and realities of the world that sometimes may first make a visible impact in the general Assembly. It is precisely on the question of and the Middle East that the actions of the Assembly and its recommendations to the Security Council, coupled with the political realities of the Council's composition—and those realities are not ephemeral but have become a constant—that the strong new trends to which I referred at the beginning of my statement could not be barred at the gates of the Council against the will of its majority. Hence this debate.

49. Let me then, in concluding, express my delegations hope that, in responding adequately to the urgent requirements of the day, the Council will be able to adopt a commensurate decision and indicate our readiness to contribute to all the efforts to bring peace based on justice to the Middle East.

50. The PRESIDENT: I would now request the representative of Yugoslavia to be kind enough to withdraw so that the representative of Egypt may resume his place at the Council table. Before I call on the next speaker, I should like to inform the Council that I have just received a letter from the representative of Iraq containing a request to be invited, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion of the item on the agenda. I propose, if I hear no objection, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion in conformity with the usual practice and the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure. There being no objection, I invite him to take the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber, on the usual understanding that he will be invited to take a place at the Council table when he wishes to address the Council.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Al-Shaikhly (Iraq) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

51. Mr. LAI Ya-li (China) (translation from Chinese): These days the representatives of many countries have expressed in their speeches profound condolences on the passing away of Premier Chou En-lai. In the name of the Chinese delegation, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to them.

52. At the same time, I should like to take this opportunity to express our warm welcome to the representatives of the five new members of the Security Council—namely, Benin, the Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama and Romania. We are convinced that in the days ahead we will co-operate closely in our work for the implementation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

53. Mr. President, allow me, in the name of the Chinese delegation, to express once again our warm welcome to the representatives of the PLO who are participating in the debate on the Middle East problem and the Palestinian question in the Security Council. The Chinese Government and people have consistently supported the just cause of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples. We are pleased to see that their struggles have won increasingly broad sympathy and support.

54. The year 1975 is over. Reviewing the situation of the Middle East over the past year, one can see even more clearly that there, on the one hand, the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples against Israeli Zionism and big-Power hegemonism is steadily deepening, while, on the other hand, the rivalry and contention between the super-Powers are being exacerbated without let-up. The whole situation has become even more unstable and turbulent, and the Middle East problem remains far from being settled.

55. It must be pointed out that it is mainly the two super-Powers which are to be held responsible for such a situation. The focus of the two super-Powers' rivalry for global hegemony is in Europe. As an important flank of Europe, the Middle East is a place both important in strategic position and rich in oil resources, and hence it has become an important link in the contention between the two super-Powers. Although each of them has put forward this or that kind of proposal for a so-called "comprehensive solution" or a "step-by-step solution" of the Middle East question, in fact neither of them has any intention or sincere desire to bring about a real settlement of the Middle East question. The proposed solutions advertised by them are all aimed merely at strengthening their respective positions in the contention, each trying to squeeze out and overpower the other. Out of their needs of contention for world hegemony, both of them are trying hard to create deliberately and maintain a state of "no war, no peace"—brief fighting followed by a period of truce, with both war and peace kept under control, or what they call "controlled tension".

56. The super-Power which never lets slip any chance to describe itself as the so-called "natural ally" of the Arab people is even more sinister in its designs, with honey on its lips and murder in its heart. It has surpassed the other super-Power in bullying others and in intriguing and conspiring. The more one deals with it, the deeper his experience in this respect. The leaders of certain Arab countries and the just opinion of the Arab and the third world have abundantly and convincingly exposed its wild expansionist design and its iniquitous acts of bad faith in seeking benefit at the expense of others. Its true features are being exposed ever more clearly.

57. At present, the rivalry between the two super-Powers throughout the world, including their rivalry in the Middle East, is becoming ever fiercer. In these circumstances, the danger of war has obviously increased and not decreased. The upcoming super-Power which is most energetic in peddling the fraud of "detente" is precisely the most dangerous source of a new world war today. One must realize this fully and make the necessary preparations against it; other-wise he will be taken in and suffer.

58. The history of human civilization has borne out the incontrovertible truth that the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history. It is the great Arab and Palestinian peoples and not the Israeli Zionists or the one or two super-Powers that will determine the future of the Middle East.

59. Over the past two decades and more the Security Council has discussed the Middle East question many times and adopted a good number of resolution which have one common feature of twisting the question of restoration of the Palestinian people's national rights into a so-called "refugee problem". This is most unfair. We have always been opposed to it and will continue to oppose it. We hope that the Security Council will rectify its long-standing unjust attitude on the question of Palestine. However, historical experience merits attention, and no unrealistic hopes should be pinned on United Nations resolutions. A real settlement of the Middle East question can only depend on the unity and struggle of the Arab and Palestinian peoples, with the support of the people of the world.

60. The great victory of the October war and the use of the oil weapon constitute a brilliant example of the Arab and Palestinian peoples fighting in close unity and with one heart and one mind for victory over the enemy. This pioneering action has dealt a heavy blow at the aggressive arrogance of Zionism and exploded the myth of the so-called Israeli "invincibility". At the same time, it has upset the super-Powers' smug calculation of manipulating the situation and contending for hegemony in the Middle East. This victory has greatly enhanced the confidence of the Arab and Palestinian peoples in defeating the Israeli aggressors. It eloquently shows that Israeli Zionism and the super-Powers are not terrible, that they look powerful but are inwardly weak, beset by difficulties both at home and abroad. It is the 100 million and more Arab and Palestinian peoples united in persistent struggles that are really powerful.

61. Faced with that situation, the super-Powers are stepping up their efforts to sow discord in an attempt to undermine the militant unity of the Arab world and sap the fighting will of the Arab people. However, through their protracted struggle the Arab and Palestinian peoples have come to realize ever more clearly that in order to lead their struggles towards victory it is imperative to strengthen their unity, firmly resist and oppose the super-Powers' schemes of sowing discord and creating split, and link their struggle against Israeli zionism closely with that against super-Power hegemonism.

62. The Chinese Government and people have always firmly supported the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their just struggle to regain their national rights and recover their lost territories, firmly condemned the Israeli Zionist aggression, firmly opposed and condemned the super-Powers for their contention and expansion in the Middle East and their support and abetment of Israel. We maintain that the Security Council must affirm the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and that Israel must withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories.

63. The struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples is arduous and the road will be tortuous, but the future is definitely bright, for the truth and justice are on their side. We are fully confident of the future of their struggle. We are deeply convinced that so long as they take their destiny firmly into their own hands, persevere in unity and struggle, they will certainly recover their lost territories, regain their national rights and win complete victory in the struggle against aggression and hegemonism with the support and assistance of the people of the world.

64. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) {interpretation from Russian): Members of the Security Council and representatives of those countries participating in the discussion of this item have just heard the usual collection of completely empty, vacuous and totally malicious tirades from the Chinese representative, camouflaged in worn-out phrases about the two super-Powers. This demagogic mounthing is used to camouflage the pro-Israel position of China on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question. He is trying to distract the attention of the Security Council from the item under discussion. The impotency of the Chinese position is disguised by maliciously slandering one of the super-Powers, and he is trying to spin this vicious slender out of thin air.

65. I had assumed that in connexion with the great mourning in his country the Chinese representative would declare a moratorium for himself in his systematic slander of the Soviet Union, but this has not occurred. Slander against the Soviet Union for the four years during which China has been in the United Nations has become the daily habit of and second nature to The Chinese delegation.

66. Not a single word of condemnation of Israel was heard in his statement. One super-Power is guilty for what is happening in the Middle East and the tragedy of the Palestinian people, and not Israel, international Zionism or those who help Israel. How monstrous is this slander, and how far it has gone! The Chinese representative does not even realize that by uttering these words of slander and inventions what sort of ridiculous position he is putting himself in before this assembly. Who will believe this? The historical facts of the heroic struggle of the Arab people are, after all, well known to the entire world, as well as the assistance which the Soviet people has given and will continue to give to the Arab peoples.

67. He used the phrase, "the great Arab victory of 1973” but who made it possible for that victory to be won? The mouthing and the demagogy of China, or the genuine material assistance offered by the Soviet Union to the Arabs? Without all our weapons it would have been impossible for that great 1973 victory to have been scored, and this is officially recognized by those who won that victory at the time.

68. The Chinese babbling and malicious slander against the Soviet Union is not the sort of weapon by which victories can be won. This is demagogy which simply distracts our attention from the essence of the question and what is occurring in the Middle East. The Maoists have taken on a very unsavoury role, that of distracting the attention of world public opinion and of the United Nations from the aggressive policies of Israel. This is giving direct assistance to the aggressor and betraying the legitimate interests of the Arab countries which were the victims of the aggressor. This is a knife treacherously thrust in the back of the Arabs to the benefit of Israel and to those who are Zionism's protectors and patrons. The statements of the Peking leaders, the Chinese press agency Tsin hua and the Chinese delegation are very cautious and mild in their criticism of Israel, as though Israel were not guilty of what is happening in the Middle East. And in order to camouflage their pro-Israel policy, China, as usual, slanders the Soviet Union, trying to lay upon it the main responsibility for the fact that the Middle East problem as a whole, and the Palestinian question in particular, have not been solved.

69. Like the Israeli usurpers, the Peking leaders and their delegation in the United Nations are against the Middle East problem being solved by means of joint and collective efforts on the part of all parties directly concerned, including the PLO. Like Israel, they are against the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East and, consequently, against the participation of the PLO in that Conference. Is it not a fact that at the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, the delegation of China did not vote in favour of resolution 3414 (XXX) on the question of the situation in the Middle East, or of resolution 3375 (XXX) to invite the PLO to participate in all efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East? And how did the representatives of the Arab countries directly involved and of the socialist commonwealth vote? They all jointly and severally voted in favour of those resolutions. And who voted against those resolutions? Israel. Consequently, in whose camp does China now find itself? In the same camp as Israel, obviously, at least on those fundamental resolutions, which have been referred to by every member of the Security Council who has spoken here and by the representatives of other countries who have participated in this debate as well. They have all appealed to the Council to follow the example of the General Assembly, and to use as the basis of Council decisions the principles contained in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly.

70. However, China, together with Israel, did not vote in favour of these resolutions. Why then indulge in demagogy? This is the essence of your position, Sir. Consequently, you are not on the side of the Arabs, but rather on the side of the aggressor. One wonders who it is in fact that China is resolutely supporting. It is quite obvious: the Israeli aggressor.

71. This is not the only example of an unholy alliance between Peking and Tel Aviv here within the walls of the United Nations. What is the delegation of China aiming at? What constructive proposals has it put forward on the problem of the Middle East during the more than four years China has been in the United Nations? No such proposals have been made by Peking, nor could there be any such proposals, since the Peking Government does not seek a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. It is trying to sabotage the efforts in the same way as Israel is trying to sabotage them. Peking is not interested in reaching a peace settlement in the Middle East. It is not interested in restitution to the Arabs of the lands occupied by Israel, nor is it in favour of recognition of the Palestinian people as an integral part of the Arab family and the provision of an opportunity for the Palestinians to create their own State. We have not heard one word about this in the statement made by the Chinese representatives.

72. Peking is interested in exacerbating and heating up the situation in the Middle East and in that part of the world. It is doing everything in its power so that the tension may be maintained as long as possible at the highest possible point. In Peking they dream of and thirst for a major military conflict in the Middle East, so that Peking might observe from afar and wash its hands of the problem joyfully. According to a pet phrase of Mao Tse-tung, you sit at the top of the mountain and watch the tigers fighting among themselves.

73. It is quite obvious that Peking adopts an essentially anti-Arab position which is very close to the policies of the Zionist imperialist forces, the patrons of the Israeli aggressor. The policy of Peking only helps to weaken the position of the Arab States and to allow the aggression to continue and in the final analysis leads to a protraction of the crisis, which is perfectly in accordance with the aims of Peking. The worse the situation, the more chaos there is under heaven, the better it is for them. But this is not in the interests of the Arab countries. The tragedy and suffering of those countries, and primarily of the Arab people of Palestine, continue. That is the essence of the policy of Peking and its position, and it cannot be hoped that any slanderous anti-Soviet fictions will camouflage or justify this anti-Arab policy pursued by Peking.

74. The representative of China has tried in vain to denigrate the honest and consistent position of the Soviet Union on the question of a Middle East settlement. It is time for the Chinese representative to understand that these efforts of his will not bring, either to him or to his bosses, any honour or glory; they will simply cover them with shame, marking them as incorrigible slanderers, abettors of the aggressors and betrayers of the victims of the aggression. The entire world knows that it is precisely the Soviet State which, by taking the bread from its own mouth and tightening its belt, gave and continues to give assistance to the Arabs as victims of the Israeli aggression. The tremendous victory which was scored in 1973, which the representative deigned to mention, was secured precisely because of the generous help of the Soviet Union, not of China. The Soviet Union and its people have given and will continue to give comprehensive political and material support and effective material assistance to strengthen their defence potential.

75. The Soviet Union is helping the Arab countries not by empty, vacuous, demagogic, slanderous statements such as we hear from the mouth of China and its representatives, not by hypocritical conjurations and mere words such as the Chinese indulge in but real, genuine efforts, including real steps which are aimed at strengthening the military readiness of the armed forces of the Arab States. The Soviet Union has always been and still remains a faithful friend to the Arab countries and peoples.

76. We do not need any Arab oil. You must understand this and not slander us. We have quite enough of our own oil, thank you—more than enough. We give assistance to our friends, as far as oil is concerned. We even supply oil to the countries of Europe. We do not need Middle East oil, and the Chinese representatives slander us by saying that we are interested in the Middle East only because of oil. I explained in the statement I made this morning why we are concerned about bringing about peace in the Middle East—because war or military confrontation in the Middle East is a fire underneath our window sill and not under theirs. They are quite far from that area and they are sticking their nose in, not in order to create a peaceful situation but to complicate the state of affairs and to seize power, to heat up the situation and to bring about a conflict between Arabs and Israelis and between the two super-Powers. Don't count on it. There cannot be any fools left in our time who can follow in their footsteps on the path of war provocation.

77. A number of statements could be quoted from responsible and high-ranking Arab leaders who have expressed gratitude to the Soviet Union for its tremendous assistance and to the Soviet people as well for the assistance that it has given throughout all these years to the Arabs in their sufferings and their tragedies. I shall recall some of them. At a press interview on 27 November 1975, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Mr. Arafat, gave the following assessment of the comprehensive support given by the Soviet Union to the Palestinians and other Arab peoples in their struggle against Israeli aggression so that they might enjoy their legitimate national rights. He stated that "the plans of imperialism and zionism cannot ever be fulfilled. We must strengthen our struggle against these plans, a struggle in which the Palestinian revolution and the patriotic forces are being given support by the countries of the socialist commonwealth, headed by the Soviet Union." I shall repeat that so that the Chinese delegation will grasp it fully: "being given support by the countries of the socialist commonwealth, headed by the Soviet Union". Then Mr. Arafat went on to say that "great significance should be attached to the initiative of the Soviet Union regarding the prompt convening of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East."

78. Who is against the Geneva Conference? Israel and China. Here is the alliance between China and Israel, and this cannot be camouflaged by any anti-Soviet slander, nor can our attention be distracted from the true facts. People understand this perfectly well. Mr. Arafat went on to say:

"The Palestinian revolution has scored considerable success in the United Nations. By a majority of votes, the States Members of the United Nations have condemned Zionism as a form of racism. With the help of our friends, the socialist countries, the non-aligned countries, the African and the Moslem countries, other important decisions have also been adopted."

79. Those are the people who fought for a just solution, not China. China did not in fact vote in favour of those resolutions and decisions, and no anti-Soviet slander can help to disguise that fact. The entire world is aware of the policy of China as far as the discussion of the Middle East question and the Palestinian question in the General Assembly is concerned. They did not assist in adopting those positive resolutions. They were adopted by the efforts of the socialist countries, the non-aligned countries, the African and the Moslem countries, as Mr. Arafat has said. Those are the people who fought for the interests and the rights of the Palestine Arab people, and not China.

80. Mr. Arafat went on to say that "the relationship between the Palestine revolution and the socialist countries and the Soviet Union is not a purely transient or superficial thing. It is a strategic relationship which is based on mutual understanding, trust and a profound and ever-growing friendship." That is the answer of a worthy son of the Arabs, Mr. Arafat, to the malicious slanders of Peking and their representatives in the United Nations.

81. I could give another example. Here is a telegram of congratulations which was sent to the leaders of the Soviet Union in connexion with the 58th anniversary of the great October revolution by the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, a friend of the Soviet Union, Mr. Assad, in which he stated:

"In connexion with this great event I should like to express our feeling of deep gratitude and appreciation for the position which you have adopted as a matter of principle in supporting the struggle of peoples for their rights, their freedom, their independence and their self-determination. Your support for our just cause in our struggle for the liberation of the occupied Arab territories and for the restoration of the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine is something which our people look upon with a desire to continue further the friendship and co-operation between our two countries."

82. There was a brilliant speech made here by the representative of Kuwait. I shall quote an extract from the joint Kuwait-Soviet Union communique published on 5 December 1975—quite recently in fact. It states that "the people of Kuwait highly value the support and assistance given by the Soviet Union to the just cause of the Arabs." Read these documents, Mr. Chinese slanderer, and have the conscience to lie, but to know how far you can go in your lying.

83. Mr. LAI Ya-li (China)(translation from Chinese): China's support to the just struggle of the Arab and Palestinian people has been sincere and selfless; it is well-known to all and cannot be distorted. The Chinese delegation has expounded the truth and essence of the Middle East question. Thus the Soviet representative who has been rid of his disguise feels so ashamed that he could not but resort to lies and sophistry once again. But these tactics will be of no help to him.

84. The facts are after all facts. Without bothering to say too much, we need only to point out a few well-known facts which will suffice for a further clarification. First, at the end of 1974, you were talking profusely in the General Assembly about your readiness to support the restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian people, whereas in the twinkling of an eye you issued a joint statement with the other super-Power, in which you changed the "national rights" of the Palestinian people into their "legitimate interests". Is this not an open betrayal of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people?

85. Secondly, in the circumstances in which the Israeli Zionists have been adamantly carrying out their policies of aggression and expansion, you have gone so far as to send a steady flow of manpower to Israel. Is this not a connivance at the Israeli Zionist policies of aggression and expansion, with one super-Power supplying the money and guns to Israel and the other super-Power, that is, the Soviet Union, supplying manpower to Israel? What is more, you have entered into overt and covert contacts with Israel which have even developed into secret talks between officials and foreign ministers. Is it not another evidence of shielding Israeli Zionism and betraying the interests of the Arab and Palestinian people?

86. Thirdly, in return for your military assistance, you extorted all kinds of privileges from an Arab country which was fighting at the front of the war against Israeli Zionist aggression; then at a critical juncture of the war you stopped the supply of arms as a means to take others by the neck in an attempt to sabotage the just struggle of the Arab countries. Today you are still pressing for the repayment of debts, despicably exerting all kinds of pressure by taking advantage of others' difficulties. You also took advantage of the Arab countries' difficulties to buy oil from them at a low price and to resell it at a high price to oil-poor countries, reaping fabulous profits in a turnover in the ignominious role of a speculative merchant.

87. All these are well-known facts, which have been openly exposed on many occasions by the deeply victimized Arab countries. You are committing these acts which cannot bear the light of day for the very purpose of controlling the Middle East through rivalry at the expense of the interests of the Arab and Palestinian peoples, so as further to control Europe and achieve what the old czars had failed to. Yet you have the effrontery to style yourself the "natural ally of the Arab people". One may ask: Would it not be closer to reality to change the high-sounding term of "natural ally" into "the dangerous enemy"?

88. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): I do not see fit to continue this argument with this Chinese slanderer and to take up the valuable time of the Council and the guests we have invited to participate in the discussion of an important international issue, namely, the situation in the Middle East. I advise the Chinese representative to read my right of reply tomorrow in the records, and, if he does so, he will understand that what I said regarding the unmasking of his iniquitous slander against the Soviet Union needs nothing further to be added to it.

89. With reference to his constant fictions about paying debts and so on, true, we have asked for debts to be repaid, because, as I said, we give assistance by denying ourselves and tightening our belts. That is our people's property, and the conditions on which we give that assistance simply demand that the contract be fulfilled.

90. So far as the reference to the flow of armed forces is concerned, that is nonsense. We let old people, children and women go to Israel, not military units. You are trying to invent everything that your inflamed brain can think up as slander against the Soviet Union. It wont get you very far, though. We have been slandered by many others throughout the history of the Soviet Union, let me tell you, in particular by Goebbels and Hitler, in whose footsteps you are now following in slandering the Soviet Union. But they have already become part of the past, whereas we exist and we are pursuing our own just Leninist peace-loving policy: equality between all peoples, deep respect for the rights, sovereignty and national aspirations and interests of all peoples, both great and small. And if the slanderers of that time did not succeed, it will not be possible for the Peking slanderers to do so now.

91. Mr. LAI Ya-li (China) (translation from Chinese): The Soviet representative was not able to deny even a single fact that we have enumerated. On the contrary in his reply he has confessed the shameless role played by the Soviet Union in the Middle East. Referring to Hitler, it is the Soviet Union that is today following Hitler's policies.

92. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): One sentence, Sir There is a Russian proverb which says: Can the leopard change his spots?

93. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): After listening to the dialogue between our two big friends China and the Soviet Union, I should like to make a very brief comment. I should like to stress the appreciation of the Arab nations for the help we have received from both friendly countries in our fight against imperialist and Zionist aggression. Really, the first time that the Arabs broke the arms monopoly was with the help of the Soviet Union and the late Chou En-lai, who intervened and held discussions with the Soviet Union. The co-operation between these two Powers was very fruitful for the Arab cause at that time.

94. I have asked to be allowed to speak because of two things that were mentioned: first of all, the vote on some resolutions during the last session of the General Assembly. My country was one of those which did not participate in the voting on one of those resolutions. I should like to stress that if we did not vote on that resolution it does not mean that we are against extending an invitation to the PLO or that we support the Israeli aggression.

95. With respect to the question of Geneva, some reservations about Geneva were expressed by some countries for clear and valid reasons that we do not have to repeat here. Those countries are not necessarily supporters of Israeli and Zionist aggression.

96. Before I finish my short statement, I should like to express our friendship and thanks to our great friend the Soviet Union for the help it gave the Arab nation in its fight in 1956, 1967 and 1973. We fought with Soviet arms and support in all domains; and, as the representative of the Soviet Union said, there was no economic interest. The Soviet Union does not need our oil.

97. This solidarity between the socialist countries in; general, including the Soviet Union, China and all the) socialist group, was really a solidarity against imperialism and aggression; it was not ideological. We Arabs are not communists; sometimes we are not pro-communist and sometimes we are anti-communist, but we always accept the help of the socialist countries because our struggle is one—the fight against imperialism and aggression—and we are thankful for that help.

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