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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.38
4 April 1979

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 38th MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 30 March 1979, at 10.30 a.m.


Chairman: Mr. FALL (Senegal)


CONTENTS


Tribute to the memory of His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Yahya Petra,
Head of State of Malaysia

Review of the situation in the Middle East

Other matters










This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.

The meeting was called to order at 11.10 a.m.

TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF HIS MAJESTY YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG TUANKU YAHYA PETRA, HEAD OF STATE OF MALAYSIA

1. On the proposal of the Chairman, the members of the Committee observed a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Yahya Petra, Head of State of Malaysia.

REVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

2. The CHAIRMAN said that two particularly important developments had occurred since the Committee's last meeting: the consideration by the Security Council of the situation in the occupied Arab territories, and the signing of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. He would point out that the current meeting was not devoted to consideration of the treaty, which had been concluded outside its competence and outside the framework of the United Nations. The Committee must carry out its mandate with objectivity and composure; however, that mandate included the right to pin-point the elements which should form the basis for the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and which could be brought to the attention of the Secretary-General.

3. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) thanked all those who had participated in the deliberations of the Security Council in the past two weeks, particularly members of the Committee, who had reiterated the Committee's position on the question of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and its stand against the atrocities committed by the illegal forces of occupation.

4. He noted the Chairman's request that the Committee should not analyse a treaty signed outside the framework of the United Nations. However, in its resolution 33/28 B, the General Assembly had requested the Committee to keep the situation relating to the question of Palestine under review and to report and make suggestions to the Assembly or to the Security Council, as might be appropriate.

5. The letter from the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt to the Secretary-General annexed to document A/34/124 was not in conformity with the Committee's recommendations, as endorsed on several occasions by the General Assembly, or with various resolutions of the Assembly. For example, the treaty stipulated "total Israeli withdrawal from all Egyptian territory ... and the return of Egyptian sovereignty". While he did not dispute Egypt's right to conclude a treaty with whomever it wished, he noted that the treaty purported to find a solution to the question of Palestine. However, Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and
338 (1973), to which the letter referred as the basis for peace, in no way resolved the problem of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

6. The letter referred to a political and legal linkage between the peace treaty and progress on the Palestinian problem, but it was shocking that the word "Palestine" had not been mentioned in the treaty. The negotiations to prepare for the elections of the Palestinian Council were a denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians and were not in conformity with the recommendations of the Committee. The Palestinian people would not even be participating in the preparations for elections to their own Council. He welcomed the fact that Jordan had decided not to commit the grave error of joining in those preparations.

7. Israel had made it clear that the competence of the Palestinian Council and the procedures for holding the elections would be derived from Israeli sources. The redeployment of Israeli forces in specified locations would merely perpetuate Israel's military strength in the area, again in violation of the rights of the Palestinians.

8. To say that, during the transitional period, negotiations would be held with the participation of the representative of the Palestinian people was a gross misstatement. PLO had been recognized in that capacity by the United Nations, by the League of Arab States and by the Palestinian people. The implication that an attempt would be made to find another representative was in violation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians.

9. He believed that the Egyptians had always considered the fate of the Palestinian people to be intertwined with their own, and he honoured those who had given their lives for the Palestinian cause, but the fact remained that there had been a change in Egypt's policy. On the basis of General Assembly
resolution 33/28 A, paragraph 4, and in view of the fact that the letter from Egypt made no mention of the inalienable right of return of the Palestinian people, he suggested that the Committee should reiterate its stand on the recommendations endorsed by the Assembly. The peace agreement was not valid
because it was not within the framework of the United Nations and lacked the elements referred to in that paragraph.

10. He had been saddened by the statement made by the Zionist Begin after the signing of the treaty, in which he had referred to the day when Jerusalem had become reunited - in other words, when it had become an Israeli city - as the second happiest day of his life.

11. In conclusion, he reiterated that all steps towards a comprehensive and just solution to the problem must be taken within the framework of the United Nations, the role of which, even with regard to self-rule, had not been considered in the treaty. The Committee should, on the basis of its recommendations and of the resolutions he had mentioned, stipulate that such an agreement purporting to solve the problem of the Palestinians had no validity.

12. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that it was a tradition in the United Nations that any Member State could request the Secretary-General to publish documents related to items on the agenda. Bilateral treaties could be published without any commitment on the part of the United Nations. The representative of Egypt had therefore been entitled to have the letter from his Government published in order to explain its views on that particular situation. It was not a document of the Committee, which accordingly had no occasion to consider it.

13. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said he appreciated that every representative had the duty to carry out the instructions of his Government. He had only referred to the treaty in so far as it concerned the question of Palestine.

14. Mr. ADEYEMI (Nigeria) said that, if the Committee could not consider the treaty, he wondered whether the representative of PLO could prepare a rejoinder to the Egyptian letter for the Committee to circulate to delegations.

15. The CHAIRMAN said that the representative of PLO had various rights with regard to the publication of documents. However, the Committee should issue a document of its own reaffirming its position on the problem of Palestine.

16. Mr. ADEYEMI (Nigeria) suggested that, in that case, PLO could prepare a rejoinder for publication by the Secretary-General, and the Committee could also take action.

17. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) thanked the representative of Nigeria for his suggestion and for stressing that the Committee as such should express an opinion. The Committee's mandate required it, inter alia, to keep the situation relating to the question of Palestine under review. The Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Committee must concentrate on the part of the treaty concluded between Israel and Egypt that purported to solve the question of the Palestinian people, and not on the first part of that treaty, of which the United Nations had been formally notified.

18. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Observer for Egypt) said that he had listened with keen interest to what had been said. Unwarranted accusations would not advance the cause of peace, nor would they help the Palestinian people to acquire their inalienable rights or liberate their territories from occupation.

19. The framework of the Committee's deliberations was the Charter of the United Nations, which ensured the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States. The very difficult task of the Committee was to strive for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and every effort should be made to facilitate agreement to that end. The Committee had always concentrated its attention and energy on its original mandate, which did not include authorization to criticize any agreement concluded by sovereign States. The Chairman had said that the matter was not under discussion; that had been the understanding of his delegation, and he was confident that the Committee shared that view. Attempts to divert the Committee would only impede progress and give rise to unnecessary complications.

20. Egypt's record and sacrifices in defence of the Palestinian people were well known. Egypt had always supported and would continue to support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and would also continue to support the work of the Committee, which was highly regarded by all. Hasty criticism of Egypt's approach to a comprehensive and just peace was not constructive. History would judge who was more realistic and who was serving the cause of the Palestinian people.

21. Mr. MARTYNEMKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that facts recently made public and discussed in the Security Council demonstrated that Israel had greatly intensified its illegal actions in the occupied territories aimed at uprooting the indigenous Arab population and creating new colonial settlements. The occupying force had stepped up its terror and repression against the Palestinians who opposed Israeli expansionism. Israel's policies and practices in the occupied Arab territories were clearly aimed at consolidating the gains made by Israeli aggression, assimilating and colonizing the captured territories, depriving the Arab people of Palestine of its national rights and, ultimately, destroying it as a nation.

22. The situation in the region had recently been aggravated by the formulation, with United States assistance, of the separate Israeli-Egyptian treaty. The direct link between that treaty and the annexationist Israeli policy was quite evident. In the discussions in the Security Council, it had been stressed that the administrative "autonomy" for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip referred to in the treaty, which Begin had described as autonomy not for the territories but for their inhabitants, was in fact a legalistic formulation of Israel's plans and actions to consolidate its strength in the occupied territories. It meant that the Arab people of Palestine would be completely deprived of its lands and national rights, including the right to self-determination and to the establishment of a sovereign State. It had been correctly pointed out that, in the final analysis, that type of "autonomy" meant annexation, since it took absolutely no account of the national rights of the Palestinian people that had been upheld in United Nations resolutions and in recommendations of the Committee.

23. Clearly, the separate Israeli-Egyptian treaty could not solve the Palestinian problem and bring peace to the Middle East; on the contrary, it actually jeopardized the national existence of the Palestinian people. During his visit to Damascus, on 24 March, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union had stressed that fact and had stated that the treaty was an attempt to consolidate the results of the long history of imperialist aggression against the Arabs. The treaty was inimical to the legal rights of the Arab people of Palestine and its hopes for creating a sovereign State. In the joint Soviet-Syrian statement issued at the end of Mr. Gromyko's visit, the conviction had been expressed that the purpose of the treaty was to perpetuate Israeli occupation of the Arab lands conquered in 1967 and the annexation of the eastern part of Jerusalem, and to obstruct the exercise by the Arab people of Palestine of its legitimate rights.

24. The situation that had arisen demanded renewed efforts by the United Nations, and by the Committee, to defend the national rights of the Palestinians and achieve a truly just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Such a peace could only be achieved after the key problems, the most important of which was the Palestinian problem, were equitably solved. The way to peace was not through capitulation and the conclusion of a separate peace, behind the backs of the Palestinians and against their interests, but through a comprehensive settlement with the participation on an equal footing of all the parties, including PLO, the legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine. That settlement should include provisions for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, for the exercise of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and for the independent existence and security of all States and peoples of the region. In its resolution 33/28 A, the General Assembly had again advocated that type of approach to the Palestinian problem.

25. His delegation believed that, on the strength of its mandate, the Committee could and should make an individual contribution to the implementation of United Nations resolutions aimed at enabling the Arab people of Palestine to exercise its inalienable national rights.

26. Mr. HAMDAN (Observer for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said that the representative of PLO had been discussing the rights of the Palestinian people, and had therefore referred to the treaty concluded between Israel and Egypt to the extent that it concerned those rights. The treaty purported to solve the Palestinian problem, but did not really offer any solution to it. Indeed, it was apparent from the interpretations published by the parties to the treaty that their intention was to damage the cause of the Palestinian people. He wished to join the representative of PLO in appealing to the Committee to reaffirm its recommendations, as endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 33/28 A.

27. [u:Mr. FLORIN] (German Democratic Republic) said that, like many other States, the German Democratic Republic had always advocated a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and a comprehensive political settlement of the problems of the region. His Government and others had decisively condemned the policy of separate deals sponsored by the United States, for such a policy could only lead to new and dangerous complications in the Middle East. Repeated warnings had been given against such separate agreements, which prevented the attainment of a comprehensive political settlement and violated the principles of international security and United Nations resolutions.

28. Developments following the separate deal at Camp David had confirmed that
point of view. The aggressor had intensified its subversive activities against Lebanon, and discussions in the Security Council of Israeli actions in the occupied Arab territories had exposed a colonialist policy aimed at the annexation of those territories. The separate agreement recently signed in Washington under strong American pressure confirmed the fears of many States, including the German Democratic Republic.

29. The crucial question of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, and most recently in General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, which had been stressed in numerous United Nations resolutions, had been given short shrift in the separate agreement of 26 March 1979. Furthermore, decisions had been made which could only be interpreted as an open annexation of territories belonging to the Palestinians. The word "autonomy" deceived no one, because in fact it signified a colonization even more brutal than bantustanization in South Africa. In order to dispel any doubts about the sense of the agreement, Prime Minister Begin had triumphantly announced in the Israeli parliament that there would be no withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries, that Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel and that there would be no Palestinian State.

30. In contradiction to United Nations resolutions and those of non-aligned conferences, the separate treaty satisfied all the aggressor's demands. New barriers to a solution of the Middle Eastern conflict were passed and the situation in the region was becoming more dangerous.

31. Following the people's revolution in Iran and the breakdown of the CENTO pact, the United States had hastened to complete its plans for a separate treaty based on its own military and political interests. The security of the Arab people would be in no way enhanced by the expected flow of American arms into the region. Indeed, no attempt had been made to conceal the American interventionist policy in the separate agreement. One of the annexed letters stated that, if the Security Council refused to send United Nations forces, the United States would take the necessary steps to ensure the stationing of an alternative armed force on the Sinai peninsula or, in other words, in Egyptian territory. In that connexion, he deplored the high-handed assignment in the separate agreement of duties and tasks to United Nations forces, which had been done without consultation with the competent organs. States Members of the United Nations would certainly not permit the Organization to be controlled in such a manner; imperialists and aggressors were bound to fail.

32. The German Democratic Republic maintained its position, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, that a complete political settlement of the Middle East problem must include the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and provision for the exercise of the inalienable right of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination, including the creation of a sovereign State, and for the independent sovereignty and security of all States of the region. The German Democratic Republic would continue to fight side by side with the Arab States and peoples and with all progressive forces for such a settlement, which could only be reached with the participation of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization. He wished to assure the Arab people of Palestine and its legitimate representative, PLO, that his Government was firmly on their side.

33. Mr. HOLLAI (Hungary) said that, since the Committee's mandate required it to keep the situation relating to the question of Palestine under review, any developments that members of the Committee felt were important in that connexion should be brought before the Committee.

34. His country had consistently supported the struggle of the Arab people to eliminate the consequences of Israeli aggression. Unless a comprehensive settlement was reached, the situation in the Middle East would continue to constitute a threat to international peace and security. Such a settlement should be based on the principles of the Charter and the General Assembly resolutions adopted over the past 30 years. Discussion and resolution of the problem should take place within the framework of an international peace conference and should involve all the interested parties, including the representative of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization.

35. In their joint statement of 1 October 1977 concerning the Middle East, the Soviet Union and the United States had expressed their belief that within the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem all specific questions should be resolved, including such key issues as withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, resolution of the Palestinian question, including ensuring the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, termination of the state of war and establishment of normal, peacefulrelations on the basis of mutual recognition of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. However, in the view of his Government, the latest developments provided for continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

36. In an address at Cairo University on 25 April 1968, the late President Nasser had said that what was actually at stake was the destiny of all Arabs; if it had merely been a question of the liberation of Sinai, his country would have accepted the American-Israeli terms and let Israel have Jerusalem, the West Bank of the Jordan and other Arab lands. However, the separate settlement reached between Israel and Egypt made no mention of the rights of the Palestinian people. There was nothing to indicate that the treaty did not accept Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The fate of the Palestinian people was being negotiated without the participation of PLO. The process of colonization of Arab lands by establishing settlements and expelling Arabs was only a slightly modified form of what had occurred in 1947 and 1948. The treaty made that process of colonization irreversible. His country would not like to see the Arab countries turned into a tool to further big-Power interests and those of the oil monopolies.

37. Mr. KOMATINA (Yugoslavia) said that his country had consistently striven to help to bring about a solution in the Middle East which would take account of the interests of all the countries of the region, on the basis of the three fundamental principles of complete withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied in 1967, recognition of the national right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to a State of their own, and the right of all countries in the region to independent development. The Committee's message should be a reaffirmation of the recommendations contained in its last report to the General Assembly (A/33/35 and Corr.1/Rev.1), which were in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council and the non-aligned movement. PLO, as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, must be included as an equal partner in any negotiations and in the formulation of any proposals which dealt with the fate of the Palestinian people. His delegation considered that a comprehensive settlement was the only way to a lasting and just peace in the Middle East and wished to reiterate the view expressed in General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, paragraph 4, regarding the validity of agreements purporting to solve the problem of
Palestine.

38. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Observer for Egypt) said that, while he respected the right of any delegation to express its views, he must take issue with the representative of the Ukrainian SSR over his use of the words "capitulation" and "separate peace" in referring to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The Ukrainian SSR, and presumably the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, had the right to claim to have the interests of the peoples of the Middle East at heart. If that was the case, he hoped that steps would be taken to halt the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union to the Middle East. After Hebrew, Russian was the most widely-spoken language in Israel.

39. The representative of Hungary had mentioned the joint Soviet-American communiqué of 1 October 1977. Israel had refused to accept the words "legitimate rights of the Palestinians" in that document, but had subsequently accepted the very same words in the text of the Camp David accords. Thus, in rejecting the recent agreements between Israel and Egypt, Hungary was rejecting that positive statement, which even Israel had accepted.

40. Mr. DUBEY (India) reiterated the view of his delegation that a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem must be based on the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. No one would question the right of any sovereign State to negotiate bilateral peace agreements, but such an agreement should not seek to impose any predetermined settlement on the Palestinian people, whose rights were well founded in natural law and in international law. The United Nations should continue to assume responsibility for ensuring respect for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to a State of their own. No peace settlement in the Middle East could be viable without a just solution of the question of Palestine. In the light of recent events, the Committee should reiterate the essential principles contained in the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

41. Mr. ROA KOURI (Cuba) said that the Committee had a clear mandate to promote the rights of the Palestinian people and to keep the situation in Palestine under review. Any lasting solution to the Middle East conflict required a just solution of the question of Palestine, which was at the core of the problem.

42. The steps taken recently by Israel were aimed at maintaining the occupation of the territories seized by force in 1967 and pursuing the settlement policy, which was tantamount to bantustanization of the occupied territories. It was the Zionist State's intention to deny the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to return to the homes from which they had been expelled by the Zionists. Not content with oppressing the Palestinian people, the Zionist State wanted to annex Jerusalem outright.

43. Over the years, his country had maintained its position that only a comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem could bring a just and lasting peace to the region. To endeavour to solve the question of Palestine without the Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, PLO, was contrary to the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law. The Committee should reiterate its position with regard to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, so that the General Assembly and world public opinion would be left in no doubt as to its view.

44. Mr. GEORGESCU (Romania) said it was more necessary than ever before to intensify efforts to achieve an over-all political settlement of the Middle East problem, and to find means of ensuring the participation of all countries and interested parties in the search for a solution which would strengthen co-operation and solidarity among all the Arab countries. A reconvened Geneva
Conference, or some other international meeting under United Nations auspices, should be held with the participation of all parties concerned, including PLO. His country believed that hotbeds of war and tension should be eliminated through negotiations aimed at initiating new relationships based on the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, co-operation and non-interference in internal affairs.

45. Despite the conclusion of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the situation in the Middle East remained extremely complex. In a recent exchange of messages, President Ceausescu and Chairman Arafat had reaffirmed the desire of their two peoples to consolidate their militant solidarity. It was in that spirit that his Government would do everything to contribute to the favourable outcome of future negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem.

46. Mr. HILALY (Pakistan) said that, as an Islamic State with a historical commitment to the Arab cause, Pakistan had made known at the highest levels its views regarding the just aspirations and hopes of Moslems in respect of the holy city of Jerusalem.

47. The peace treaty between Egypt and Israel had been formalized, but that did not mean that the basic issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict had been resolved, or that the conditions for lasting peace had been met. There was no viable alternative to a peace based on the solution of the root cause of the Middle East conflict, which was the question of Palestine. If the Palestinian people were to attain their right to self-determination, there must be a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied Arab lands, Arab sovereignty over Jerusalem must be restored and the Palestinian people must be enabled to establish their own independent State.

48. Mr. AZIZI (Afghanistan) concurred with the view that the question of Palestine was at the heart of the Middle East crisis, and said that there could be no lasting and just peace unless the rights of the Palestinians were ensured, including their right to return to their homes, their right to self-determination and their right to establish their own national sovereign State. The serious concerns of his Government had been expressed in a message from the Secretary-General of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. His delegation agreed with the Yugoslav delegation that the Committee should reiterate its stand with regard to the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

49. Mrs. ÜNAYDIN (Turkey) reaffirmed the long-standing view of her Government that peace was possible only through a comprehensive settlement to the satisfaction of all parties concerned, including PLO, and their participation on an equal footing. Israel must withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories, including the Arab sector of Jerusalem, and must recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Her delegation would be prepared to support any efforts which were in conformity with those basic principles, as set forth in the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.

50. Mr. GLAIEL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that the Committee could not fail to be concerned at the impact which the treaty concluded between Egypt and Israel would have on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Every sovereign State was, of course, free to negotiate whatever treaties it wished, but he believed that the Committee should reiterate its position, whether or not in response to the document circulated at the request of the Permanent Representative of Egypt (A/34/124).

51. Mr. LE ANH KIET (Observer for Viet Nam) said that the plot hatched by the United States and Israel was aimed at abolishing the national rights of the Palestinian people, negating the role of PLO and weakening the Arab countries. In view of the effect that the treaty recently signed in Washington would have on the Palestinian people, his Government reiterated its resolute support for the just struggle of the Palestinians and of other Arab peoples against imperialism and zionism. A proper solution to the Middle East question would involve the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, respect for the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to establish their own State, and the inclusion of PLO in any negotiations.

52. Mr. BAFI (Observer for Iraq) said that the representative of PLO had clearly outlined the danger, and the implications for the Arab people, of the recent separate peace treaty between the Sadat régime and the Zionist entity. His delegation strongly supported PLO's request that the Committee should reiterate the declaration contained in General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, paragraph 4, with regard to the validity of agreements purporting to solve the problem of Palestine.

53. The CHAIRMAN noted that there seemed to be no disagreement on the substance of the question. It was clearly the Committee's mandate to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to keep developments affecting those rights under review. There was agreement that the question of Palestine was at the heart of the problem of the Middle East and that no solution could be envisaged without taking into account the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty. Lastly, there was agreement on the need for a comprehensive solution, involving the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, and on the desirability of reiterating the provisions of General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, paragraph 4.

54. A draft letter prepared in the light of the discussions was before the Committee, and he suggested that it should be sent immediately to the Secretary-General and to the President of the Security Council. The text of the letter would subsequently be circulated as an official document.

55. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Observer for Egypt) requested that, in order to maintain a balance, the reply of the Prime Minister of Egypt to the statement by the Prime Minister of Israel referred to in the letter should also be included.

56. The CHAIRMAN said that the letter was not intended to be a polemic between Egypt and Israel, and he did not therefore think it necessary to include a statement by the Prime Minister of Egypt, since the Committee had no quarrel with his position.

57. Mr. KOUYATE (Guinea) said that, in his view, the reason for including the reference to the statement by the Prime Minister of Israel was to denounce it as a further obstacle to the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

58. The CHAIRMAN added that the Permanent Representative of Egypt could request distribution of the statement by the Prime Minister of Egypt as an official document of the General Assembly under the relevant agenda item. The representative of Guinea was correct in saying that the Prime Minister of Israel's statement had been quoted because it was contrary to the position of the Committee. That was not the case with the statement by the Prime Minister of Egypt, to which he understood Mr. Begin's statement had been a reply.

59. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Observer for Egypt) said that the statement of the Prime Minister of Egypt had been in reply to that of the Prime Minister of Israel, and not vice versa. He hoped that that fact would be noted in the summary record. In his view, intellectual honesty demanded the inclusion of the Egyptian reply. For their own reasons, a number of members of the Committee were anxious to omit any reference to that statement.

60. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that the draft letter mentioned only statements that had been made before the Committee. He believed that there was a consensus with regard to its content.

61. Miss LEONG (Malaysia) thanked the members of the Committee for their expression of condolences on the death of the head of State of Malaysia, and said that her delegation was in full agreement with the approach outlined in the letter.

62. Mr. ADEYEMI (Nigeria) suggested that, to avoid ambiguity, the words "the 1967 lines" in the seventh paragraph of the draft letter should be amended to read: "the pre-June 1967 lines".

63. It was so decided.

64. The CHAIRMAN siad that, if there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished the draft letter, as amended, to be transmitted to the Secretary- General and the President of the Security Council and to be issued as a press release.

65. It was so decided.

66. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the action taken by the Committee reinforced the confidence of PLO in the United Nations as a vehicle for the attainment of the rights of the Palestinian people and of peace in the region.

67. With regard to the remark made by the representative of Egypt on the joint Soviet-American communiqué ['77] of 1977, the significance of that document was that it had been signed by the two Co-Chairmen of the Geneva Conference but the United States had gone back on it, and not that it contained a reference to the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

OTHER MATTERS

68. The CHAIRMAN reported that an invitation had been received from the World Peace Council for the Committee to send representatives to meetings to be held in Prague on 25-27 April and in Basel on 4-6 May 1979. He requested the Secretary of the Committee to refer the invitations to the Working Group with a view to the designation of representatives.


The meeting rose at 1.40 p.m.


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