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UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
S/PV.1876
19 January 1976

1876th MEETING

Held in New York on Monday, 19 January 1976, at 3 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.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1876)

1. Adoption of the agenda

2 The Middle East problem including the Palestinian question

The meeting was called to order at 3.50 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The Middle East problem including the Palestinian question

1. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the Previous decisions taken by the Council [1870th-1875th meeting]. I invite the representatives of Egypt, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Arab Emirates 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 accordance with the decision taken by the Council 1870th meeting], I invite the representative of the Liberation Organization to participate in the discussion.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharafa (Jordan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic), and Mr. Khaddoumi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Security Council table: Mr. Jeanne Mrtin Cisse (Guinea), Mr. Al-Shaikhly (Iraq), Mr. Bishara (Kuwait), Mr. El Hassen (Mauritania), Mr. Jamal (Qatar), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Ghobash (United Arab Emirates) and Mr. Petric (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

2. The PRESIDENT: I have received letters also from the representatives of the German Democratic Republic, India, Morocco, the Sudan and the Yemen Arab Republic, in which they ask to be invited, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. I propose, if there is no objection, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion, in conformity with the usual practice and with the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure. There being no objection, I shall invite those representatives to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber, on the usual understanding that they will be invited to take a place at the Council table when they wish to address the Council.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Florin (German Democratic Republic), Mr. Jaipal (India), Mr. Zaimi (Morocco), Mr. Medani (Sudan) and Mr. Sallam (Yemen Arab Republic) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

3. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): The United States has followed with great interest the course of the debate so far and has noted attentively the statements and positions laid before us by both concerned and interested parties. It is certain that the issue before us—the issue of peace in the Middle East—remains one of the most complex and difficult issues that can be imagined. Some of the statements presented to the Council have taken us back to the origins of the problem—and we have considered it in many dimensions.

4. If there are two things we can learn from the events which have been reviewed during the past week in the Council, one is surely that war, violence, terrorism and resort to force have seriously aggravated this problem over the last several decades and we are now dealing with the consequences of this violence. Another lesson is that the relatively rare but very significant steps which have been made towards interim arrangements to avoid war and towards long-range peaceful solutions have been possible only when parties to this problem could operate within an agreed framework. The basic truths before us are that, to avoid conflict, there must be contact and negotiations, and that to maintain a negotiating process there must be a framework within which the parties have agreed to negotiate.

5. One of the greatest contributions the Security Council has made in its notable history was to establish that framework. In 1967, after months of negotiation and effort, Security Council resolution 242 (1967) was adopted. In 1973, it was reaffirmed and augmented by resolution 338 (1973). These two resolutions, and the will to apply them, have been the foundation for the progress that has been made, and they continue to provide hope for the future.

6. Our discussions over these last days have offered many possibilities of changes to or augmentation of these resolutions and variations for the basic frame-work. We have listened as these ideas were put forward we understand the sentiments and the concerns behind many of them. But in spite of these interests and concerns, we cannot escape the reality of the situation whereby, when all parties have agreed to a framework, all of them must agree to changes in that framework. Changes imposed on the parties and unacceptable to any one of them, however great the good will, will not work. That framework reflects the enormous complexities and interrelationships of the issues involved in a settlement, and to modify one part of it risks destroying it entirely. We believe it would be a setback for the chances of achieving true peace in the Middle East for the Council to conclude its current debate by adopting resolutions which would have the effect of leaving no commonly accepted basis for further negotiation.

7. Where would we. go from there? With the increasing complexity of each step and each year, the process of building a new foundation for peace, of establishing a new process becomes a more difficult task. It is for this reason that the United States feels that endangering this agreed framework in order to achieve results here in the Council which would in themselves not guarantee a solution, or even progress towards a solution, is not worth the risk.

8. We believe that there is enough leeway in the present arrangements to achieve progress if there is the will to use them, that all the problems before us can be dealt with most effectively, by the negotiating process and that such changes as may be required in our approach must be worked out in the Geneva process. It is at Geneva or at a preparatory conference that matters of procedure, such as the question of additional participants, and of substance can and should be addressed. Having succeeded in establishing an agreed framework of procedure and principles for a settlement and in creating conditions for the establishment of the Geneva Conference as a forum in which the implementation of those principles can be negotiated, the Council should not now seek to prejudge the work of that Conference.

9. As we have stated before, the United States is prepared to cooperate with all the States involved on all the issues. We are aware that there can be no durable solution unless we make every effort to promote a solution of the key issues of a just and lasting peace in the area on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), taking into account the legitimate interests of all the peoples of the area, including the Palestinian people, and respect for the rights to independent existence of an States in the area. We are committed to a peace settlement which resolves all the issues in the— withdrawal from occupied territories, the right of all States in the area to live within secure and borders, the reciprocal obligations of the parties to live in peace with each other, and all the other question. which must be dealt with in the negotiating process. We are also aware that all these elements are inextricably tied together by resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) in what the former representative of the United Kingdom, Lord Caradon, described as "a balanced whole".

10. My Government is dedicated to making every effort to achieve progress towards peace in the Middle East in this year. We have learned and profited from the deliberations of the Council and the ideas that have been put forth here. We believe our strongest duty, however, is to preserve the process for peace I that we have all worked so hard to construct and to use it so that the problems before us can be met and overcome. We are confident that progress can be made, and we are committed to achieving it. The peace and safety of the world demand nothing less. Out actions both in the Council and afterwards will be guided by our best judgement of what is necessary for us to advance towards, and to avoid impeding, the achievement of this objective.

11. Mr. VINCI (Italy): The debate we are having on the complex problem submitted for the consideration of the Council is a very special one and somehow different from others. In saying so I certainly do not intend to underestimate or minimize the importance of other disputes or conflicts with which the Council has had to deal. Most of the previous speakers have noted how long the Council has been seized of the Middle East problem. It is a fact. What I mean, in referring to its special nature — and I believe everyone here and outside this chamber would agree with me-is that our debate touches a special chord in each of us. The question of the Middle East, the crisis of the Middle East, is not, indeed, just a regional dispute. Its dimensions, in all fields — political, economic, historical, cultural, moral — go far beyond the geographical area of the conflict. That is why the long-standing dispute between the Israelis and the Arabs was from the beginning, and became more and more, a matter of universal concern and of far-reaching consequences: in world politics as well as in the economy of our planet. There is hardly any country throughout the world which has not been involved or affected by it in some way or the other.

12. When I speak of the effects, I have in mind not only the disruptive influence the conflict has exercised on world politics, on our national economies; I have in mind also the effects we have felt individually, from whatever part of the world we come. I cannot think, in fact, of anyone I know in this house or elsewhere who has remained personally unaffected and has not felt somehow involved in the conflict. It is not simply because the Arabs and the Israelis have fought now for over 30 years, both with guns and with all the ammunition provided by diplomacy and human ingenuity. It is because none of us could remain indifferent and not feel emotionally involved, however different the degrees of intensity, in this tragedy of our times, which is identified by the rivalry between Jews and Arabs for a land considered holy by the three great monotheists religions.

13. Without going over the whole historical background, I will restrict my remarks to our life period. Now, who belonging to my generation and to my part of the world will ever indeed forget the plight of the Jews during the Second World War? Who will ever forget the dead, the mass destruction of a people, accomplished at a rate never witnessed before? Then, the search for the answer to a traumatic question: how had that been possible? A traumatic question, however, which cannot be addressed to the Arabs and least of all to the Palestinian people. They had no responsibility in those tragic events and they cannot be made accountable for what happened in the late 1930s and in the following years. During the war and afterwards many or most of the survivors of that genocide, in a surge of despair and of human dignity, went to Palestine and joined their forces with those of their co-religionists in a common undertaking, the building of a nation of their own in the land of their forefathers.

14. On that day, on 14 May 1948, the creation of the State of Israel was hailed in many parts of the world as an act of justice implying, as it did, the Cognition of the right to self-determination and statehood of the Jewish people. Unfortunately, human justice is not perfect. For one reason or other, owing to our human frailty, someone is left out to pay for it. This is a case in point.

15. So I should like to sketch another picture which runs Parallel to the one I have just described. While the harassment of the Jewish minorities has been for centuries a current, I may say, a recurrent, affair in Europe, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Jews have lived, mostly unharmed, all over North Africa and the Middle East. There Arab populations and Moslem rules allowed them most of the time to prosper, as well as to maintain and develop their own culture and rites.

16. In Palestine itself, as we all know, the wheel of history had turned in such a way, over the centuries, that only a small fraction of the Jewish population had remained. In fact the Arabs became the majority and other peoples settled as well in the old land between Jerusalem and the sea—Christians of various denominations, Moslems of different sectarian persuasions. There was a traditional mutual respect between all these various communities which lived and worked together in the same place under foreign administration in such a way that no single nationality could consider itself as being obstructed in the pursuance of its regional, cultural and communal life.

17. However, the existing equilibrium, both inside Palestine and in the Arab world, was broken in the aftermath of the Second World War. The access to independence and sovereignty of a number of countries in the area was followed by the creation of the State of Israel, which met strong opposition and counteraction from the neighbouring States, old and new. What accompanied or came after this event was, on one side, a voluntary migration of Jews from nearly all parts of the world towards Israel and, on the other side, non-voluntary movements of populations; a flow of Arabs from the newly formed State of Israel towards neighbouring countries and another one later towards Israel of Jewish refugees from the Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

18. It all amounted unfortunately to another tragedy of our times—a very sad epilogue to the Second World War and the seed of four subsequent bloody and costly regional wars. And the Arab people of Palestine were deprived of the State to which they were entitled. I should leave to future historians the task of placing where they belong the responsibilities of this mishap. I do not think we need their help to identify the objective causes of the more recent strong resurgence of the Palestinian question.

19. In fact, recent and less recent events are generally well known and there is no need for me to go over them. The resulting present situation, which is the one we have to deal with, is far from being reassuring. It is true that there have been some improvements since the convening of the Geneva Conference, mainly as a result of the three Disengagement Agreements engineered by the Secretary of State of the United States between Egypt and Israel and between Syria and Israel. But ominous signs are still present. What is happening in Lebanon reminds us every day that even the most unpredictable and tragic events can occur as long as the confrontation does not come to an end. That is why we ask if this is not a time when, as recently stated by the Foreign Minister of Italy, Mariano Rumor, "We should help the parties directly involved to overcome courageously and-far-sightedly the contradictions which for too long have crystallized a situation which is primarily contrary to their own basic interest."

20. This is one more reason to regret sincerely, now we have heard with great interest mixed with emotion the views forcefully expressed by many spokesmen of Arab Governments and people, that the voice of Israel has not sounded at the same time in this chamber.

It is our earnest hope that the Israelis, following our deliberations, will change their mind, realizing that they can better serve their vital interests here.

21. In the meantime, because of the circumstances in which it is taking place, because of its participants, this debate can serve some useful purpose. This is certainly what we and, I am sure, all the other members of the Council had in mind when we decided to undertake in harmony a comprehensive review of the Middle East situation, including the Palestinian question.

22. What we heard so far has not weakened our confidence. On the contrary. As a matter of fact the current debate has enabled the representatives not only of many Arab countries and of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but also of Member States from other parts of the world, to air the views they hold on the item under consideration.

23. It will not take me long to give the contribution of my own delegation to the current debate, since my Minister for Foreign Affairs has on several occasions made clear the views which Italy holds on the Middle Eastern situation as well as on the Palestinian problem. I myself have done so in the General Assembly and in the Council.

24. I shall start by saying that since 3 October 1970 the Italian Government has maintained that the Palestinian question cannot any longer be considered a simple problem of refugees. It is a political problem which requires a political solution. Its importance has not ceased to increase, as the convening of this series of meetings of the Council and the current debate indicate clearly enough. As far as Italy is concerned, my Government had long before our present deliberations recognized the national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to a homeland.

25. Consequently, we also came to the conclusion that no just and lasting peace could be established in the Middle East without u solution of the Palestinian problem. The questions which, in our view, the Council has to face now are mainly two. First, how can we ensure those rights for the Palestinian people without upsetting the delicate balance of the rights and legitimate interests and expectations of all the parties concerned—"a balanced whole", as defined by the father of resolution 242 (1967). Lord Caradon, as the representative of the United States reminded us—in order to reach a just and lasting peace? Secondly, how can we bring the Palestinian people into the peace-making process?

26. My delegation has not at this stage any full ready answers to these two difficult questions. We feel, however, that the Council, in seeking constructive replies to these two questions, should be careful not to alter or undermine previous decisions which have laid down the main guidelines, established the framework for a just and lasting peace and set on machinery for negotiations. At the same time the Council should give new momentum to the negotiate process aiming at a revival of the Geneva Conference In other words. Italy stands by resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which provide the basic principles and framework for an over-all settlement of the problem And we feel that no constructive move could be made by the Council unless the validity of those two resolutions were reaffirmed in our conclusions, whatever form those conclusions might take.

27. To sum up the position of my delegation: we are ready to consider any concrete proposal or suggestion which can advance the solution of the Palestinian problem and at the same time bring us nearer to the just and lasting peace in the Middle East we all advocate. To achieve this objective, an over-all settlement to be negotiated between all the parties concerned must be based on Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in the 1967 war, on the right of all the States in the area, including Israel, to live within recognized secure and guaranteed frontiers and on the recognition of the political rights of the Palestinian people to a national identity and to a homeland.

28. Mr. BOYD (Panama) (interpretation from Spanish): In my first statement or 12 January [1870th meeting]. I presented to you, Mr. President, the members of the Council, the Secretary-General and the Secretariat staff our best wishes, and on this occasion I should like to express thanks for the kind words of welcome which have been addressed to us in this chamber now that we, after a short time, have come once again to the Security Council.

29. We are confident that the debate will proceed constructively, thanks to the co-operation which we will surely receive from each and every member of the Council. It will be an honour for us to work closely with each and every one of you, and in particular with the delegation of Guyana, which, in addition to representing Latin America, as we do, is a member of the group of non-aligned countries in the United Nations. We should like to associate ourselves with the representative of Guyana's words of condolence to the representative of China on the death of Chou En-lai, who was a distinguished statesman and worked tirelessly for 50 years to make his country great and to bring about a better understanding of international problems.

30. As long ago as November 1975, the majority of the membership of the United Nations decided that the Council would meet on 12 January 1976 to discuss the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question. As is well known, the decision to meet here; was taken when we renewed the mandate of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

31. Panama played quite an important role in the: drafting and subsequent implementation of resolution 340 (1973), whereby it was decided to establish UNEF on 25 October 1973, and we have followed with great interest everything relating to the peacekeeping efforts made in the Middle East after the war of October 1973. We have always been in favour of peace in the Middle East and that was demonstrated by our contribution lasting for more than a year, until towards the end of 1974, when battalions 1 and 2 of the Panama National Guard served with distinction in the Sinai area as an integral part of UNEF, carrying out the mandate which had been decided on in the Security Council.

32. In studying resolution 381 (1975), whereby it was decided that the Council would continue the debate on the Middle East including the Palestinian question, taking into account all relevant United Nations resolutions, we have felt that we have an obligation to go into the history and the background of our participation in that important and sorely tried part of the world. Also, we feel that we have a duty to make further efforts and contributions to a just and lasting peace in the area.

33. We believe that the United Nations Force in the Middle East is very necessary for the maintenance of tranquillity there and if we are to create the kind of atmosphere needed for peace arrangements. It is only fair to recognize that during the period since November 1973 some very praiseworthy efforts have been made by Egypt and Israel to improve the existing situation. It is only fair to recognize also that, in agreeing to the renewal of the mandate of UNDOF in the Golan Heights, the Syrian Arab Republic has given us an opportunity to take steps to improve the difficult circumstances prevailing in that part of the world, in an effort to prevent the resumption of hostilities.

34. We sincerely believe that the worst thing would be to try to maintain the status quo. We consider that most aspects of the Middle East question and their Possible solution have been dealt with acceptably for all the parties in resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), Provided we now add certain basic elements relating to recognition of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people.

35. We regret the absence of Israel from this debate, which we all hope will reach constructive conclusions. We feel it is fully justified for the PLO to be with us here because this question is closely connected with the rights which it is defending. Panama, like the overwhelming majority of the United Nations, was in favour of the participation of the PLO in our debates, after the summit conference at Rabat in November 4 recognized the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, which should be consulted on all matters relating to the Palestinian people.

36. Our primary concern for the immediate future is to contribute to having the Council's decisions serve to bring about the resumption of negotiations in the Geneva Conference, as of is known, with the participation of all the parties concerned. We are pleased that the major Powers are interested in accelerating the negotiating process in the interests of a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problems. We are all aware that it would be very difficult to maintain the spirit of detente and that peace in the world would be fragile if the two super-Powers cannot reconcile the conflicting interests of their respective allies.

37. The course of events in the Middle East over the past few years has convinced us that it is necessary to give credit where credit is due and to do what is necessary if we wish to prevent a new crisis. To try to maintain the status quo in respect of the most fundamental problems of the Middle East is to play into the hands of those who wish to maintain situations of force there—which, inevitably, would lead us to violence.

38. From everything that we have heard, the wisest thing, we believe, would be to support the formulation encouraging the convening of the Geneva Peace Conference, on the understanding that the role to be played there by the Secretary-General on a day-to-day basis will be more important and that the Security Council will be kept abreast of progress made there.

39. At the present time Panama is seeking support in the international community for the elimination of a colonial enclave which has divided our territory into two parts, known throughout the world as the Panama Canal Zone. Panama knows the meaning of frustration and pain endured by those who are impatiently waiting for the recovery of effective sovereignty over their land, and for that reason we cannot fail to support those who demand that the inalienable rights of our peoples be recognized.

40. Respect for the inalienable rights of all the peoples of the world to self-determination, to the exercise of sovereignty over their territories, and to the enjoyment of territorial integrity is the principle which is the cornerstone of peace and security throughout the world. The violation of that principle has always endangered security in the area concerned and on many occasions, as in the case of the Middle East, has been the cause of a breach of the peace in the area.

41. Panama is well aware of that fact from its own historical experience, for we have endured 72 years of foreign interference in our territory, which has prevented us from fully exercising our sovereign rights over part of our national territory. Incidents related to that matter brought about in 1964 a breach of peace and security in the area, all of which appears in the records of the Security Council. From that time on we have been negotiating with the United States to seek a settlement safeguarding our sovereign rights, aware that failure at the negotiating table can mean violence once again. The situation prevailing in the Panama Canal Zone is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations because it obstructs our right to national unity and is not in keeping with respect for territorial integrity, which the States represented here have pledged.

42. We very much admire the knowledgeable way in which the members of the Council and other delegations that have participated in the deliberations on the Middle East have spoken out, and we are pleased at the sincere wishes that have been voiced here for the attainment of a formula that would advance the movement towards a peaceful settlement of this complex problem.

43. In our conviction that this is of historic interest, I wish to recall that during the fifth emergency special session of the General Assembly, the Group of the Latin American States in the United Nations, on 30 June 1967, submitted a draft resolution, which was rejected but which, because it contained the basic elements for effective peace, I should like to read out. The operative part of that Latin American draft resolution reads as follows:

"The General Assembly,

"1. Urgently requests:

"(a) Israel to withdraw all its forces from all the territories of Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Republic occupied as a result of the recent conflict;

"(b) The parties in conflict to end the state of belligerency, to endeavour to establish conditions of coexistence based on good neighborliness and to have recourse in all cases to the procedures for peaceful settlement indicated in the Charter of the United Nations;

"2. Reaffirms its conviction that no stable international order can be based on the threat or use of force, and declares that the validity of the occupation or acquisition of territories brought about by such means should not be recognized;

"3. Requests the Security Council to continue examining the situation in the Middle East with a sense of urgency, working directly with the parties and relying on the presence of the United Nations to:

"(a) Carry out the provisions of operative paragraph 1 (a) above;

"(b) Guarantee freedom of transit on the international waterways in the region;

"(c) Achieve an appropriate and full solution of the problem of the refugees and guarantee the territorial inviolability and political independence of the States of the region, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

"4. Reaffirms, as in earlier recommendations the desirability of establishing an international regime for the city of Jerusalem, to be considered by the General Assembly at its twenty-second session."1/

44. That draft resolution, which was not supported by the Arab delegations, received the favourable vote of Israel. We have always supported the basic principles set forth in the Latin American draft resolution. For that reason, we believe that resolution 242 (1967), which was adopted a few months later, deserves our entire support, inasmuch as it contains the same principles of negotiation and agreement whereby the parties should be able to reach a satisfactory settlement of the Palestine question, provided that it now be recognized, in good faith, that it is no longer just a refugee problem, and that consequently this subject can no longer be discussed solely as a humanitarian problem, but must be approached on the basis of a political settlement in accordance with the principles of self-determination contained in the Charter and in United Nations resolutions.

45. In the international field Panama has always condemned the use of force and has reaffirmed the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory through the use of force or by military conquest.

46. The withdrawal of Israeli forces from all territories occupied in the 1967 war and respect for the territorial integrity and security of all countries in the area, including Israel, must be linked with respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people if a formula for a just and durable peace in the Middle East is to be found.

47. If we consider the problem as a whole, we can establish the principles which should underline a settlement, or at least point the way to that settlement, bearing in mind the just aspirations of the parties to the conflict. The delegation of Panama believes that it would be a great event indeed for peace in the area if we could establish a Palestinian State that would include Gaza and the West Bank of the Jordan, and if the Arabs could accept, for their part, Israel's right to live within secure and recognized boundaries.

48. It is with deep .sorrow that we note the tragic internal civil war in Lebanon which has brought death to thousands of human beings and caused incalculable material loss. We would express the hope that the groups involved in the present conflict, the leaders of all sectors and, in general, the Lebanese people will help put an end to that fratricidal struggle and will do their utmost to restore peace and order. We share the concern of the Secretary-General that the consequences of so much bloodshed, suffering and pain might precipitate a new crisis involving neighbouring countries, which in turn would endanger peace in the area. Panama will defend at every turn Lebanon's right to maintain its unity and territorial integrity, and hopes for a speedy reconciliation among its inhabitants.

49. As a non-aligned country, Panama believes that the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Lima in August 1975, was quite right in declaring that

The interest of security and peace in the world rests on the immediate implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions and a just and durable peace in the Middle East must be based on the two following principles:

"1. The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 5 June 1967;

"2. The exercise by the Palestinian people of all their national rights, including their right to return to their country and to self-determination and political independence."2/

50. The Revolutionary Government of Panama, considering that the overwhelming majority of our people are Catholic, believes it has the obligation to recommend that Jerusalem, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy See, be recognized as having a special status with international guarantees, so that Catholic worshippers and, in general, adherents of the three major religions of the world can have among other things, free access to the Holy Places, freedom of residence and freedom of worship and so that historic sites in the Holy City may be preserved and guarded. If those principles are supported by the majority of the international community, it is our duty in the Council to reconcile the views, bearing in mind the legitimacy of each and every one of them.

51. Panama, which considers itself a friend of the Arab countries and of Israel, concludes its statement calling for a search for a reasonable solution which would reflect the .constructive spirit with which we are imbued as the only way that can lead us to peace in the Middle East.

52. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of Iraq. In accordance with established practice, I now request the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization to withdraw temporarily from his seat at the Council table in order that his place may be taken by the representative of Iraq. invite that representative to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

53. Mr. AL-SHAIKHLY (Iraq): Mr. President, my delegation finds itself seated again at the Council table much sooner than it had expected. It is with profound satisfaction that we see you, the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, who has dedicated himself to the struggle for the freedom and independence of all peoples, presiding over these historic meetings of the Council while it considers an item of great significance to the world at large and of crucial importance to the future and the fate of the whole Arab nation. It was indeed a pleasure and a rare privilege for my delegation and for me personally to have had the opportunity to work with you during the last year of Iraq's term on the Council. I wish to thank you and, through you, all the other members of the Council for allowing my delegation to participate in this debate.

54. I also wish to convey our sincere best wishes to the new members of the Council and to express our gratitude and lasting appreciation to them and to all the other Council members who have enabled the representative of the PLO, representing the Palestinian people, to participate in this debate which concerns the future of that people more than any other. The stand of those delegations that voted for the participation of the PLO in the present debate will be recorded in the annals of the struggle of the Palestinian people and it will not be not be forgotten. All that has happened in Palestine since 1917 was the outcome of the violation of law and justice, and since 1947 of the violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations itself in a manner that adversely affected the fate and the very existence of a whole nation. We are now still dealing with the consequences of these violations.

55. It would appear, however, that at long last the world has come to realize that no peace can be established in the Middle East unless and until the wrongs committed in Palestine and the injustices inflicted upon the people of Palestine are rectified and redressed. This can be achieved only on the basis of principles of law and justice and the implementation of the principles and decisions from which no nation openly dissents.

56. The United Nations bears a special and major responsibility in the question of Palestine. Under unprecedented and scandalous United States coercion—words used by the then Secretary of Defense, the late James Forrestal, in his diaries 3/ the General Assembly illegally recommended the partition of Palestine. Of course, nothing in the Charter bestows upon the United Nations the power to partition a country or to create new States. Nor does the United Nations have the mandate or the capacity to convey title, as the Organization cannot assume the role of territorial sovereign. To its credit the Security Council has not attempted to implement the recommendations adopted by the General Assembly. The glaring inequity of the resolution recommending the partition of Palestine was nowhere more evident than in the fact that the indigenous Palestinian Arabs constituted a majority even in the area allotted to the proposed Jewish State. Be that as it may. and perhaps because of this most anomalous situation, the rights of the Palestinian Arabs in the Jewish State were placed under the guarantee of the United Nations; consequently, the sovereignty of the Jewish State was permanently limited by the very resolution which envisaged its establishment. Like no other State Member of the United Nations, the Zionist State was admitted to membership in the United Nations on certain conditions, which the Zionists have signally failed to fulfil. Like no other State within the Organization, the Zionist State is subject to the jurisdiction and control of the United Nations.

57. In its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 the General Assembly reserved to itself the power to control and supervise Israel's acts concerning the Palestinians, the refugees, boundaries and Jerusalem issues. On every one of these issues, the Zionist State has displayed nothing but intransigence, blatant violation and defiance of the more than 200 resolutions adopted in the United Nations since 1948 concerning Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. None of these resolutions has been respected by Israel. No other State has defied the authority of the United Nations in such a manner or eroded the prestige and the effectiveness of the Organization to such an extent. The Security Council has on several occasions warned Israel that it would take steps to give effect to its decisions, but it has never carried out its warnings. It is now quite evident that without effective international action in accordance with the provisions of the Charter the Zionists will never comply with United Nations resolutions or abandon the fruits of their military conquests or undo the wrongs and injustices inflicted upon the Palestinians.

58. The Zionists have declared that they would not accept an imposed solution. Such a stand is to be expected from the wrongdoer. But those who support the view that no solution can or should be imposed by the United Nations or by the great Powers are in fact urging another war upon the victims of Israeli aggression. They are suggesting that the fait accompli imposed by the Zionists in 1948 and 1967 by force of arms can be undone only by force of arms.

59. There is now almost unanimous agreement on the fact that Palestinian national rights have to be taken into consideration. And yet the Power which has assumed the role of the main arbiter still cannot bring itself to acknowledge the existence of such rights, and talks only of "interests". That same Power appears now to acquiesce in the acquisition of territories by force of arms, in fact aiding and abetting the aggressor and supplying him with arms and assistance which enable him further to consolidate the colonization of the occupied territories. They seek to legitimize not only the new conquests of 1967 but also the conquests of 1948, which went beyond the territory allotted to the Jewish State in the partition resolution.

60. Members of the Council who maintain that the unjust and unbalanced resolution 242 (1967) of November 1967 is the only viable framework for a peace settlement are deluding themselves and avoiding the real issue Iraq has always believed that resolution 242 (1967) cannot be the basis for a settlement because that resolution in effect rewarded the aggressor for his aggression. The unfortunate truth about resolution 242 (1967) is that it sought to consolidate a fait accompli imposed by force, rather than to establish the framework for a peace with justice, in accordance with the principles of the Charter and of international law.

61. As to the question of the occupied Arab territories, should an aggressor be allowed to dictate the terms for his compliance with the provisions of the Charter and the principles of international law? International law does not countenance the laying down of such terms and conditions the withdrawal must be prompt and unconditional. It was President Eisenhower who stated on the occasion of an earlier Israeli aggression that if a nation which attacked and occupied foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval were allowed to impose conditions for its own withdrawal, then we would have turned back the clock of international order. Resolution 242 (1967) was, above all, an attempt to erase forever the name of Palestine and to obliterate forever the national rights of the people of Palestine.

62. The pretext put forward by the Zionists for their boycott of the present debate in the Council is the presence and the participation of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. But the fact is that the Zionists, and their American backers, would have opposed the participation of any representative of the Palestinian people. For the mere appearance of any Palestinian entity or any independent Palestinian factor in the Middle East undermines the Zionist fails accomplis, brings the Zionists policies back to 1947 and leads the international community to a major reappraisal of the basic equities of the whole question of Palestine. Ironically the refusal of the United States Government to recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people implies recognition of the fact that the Zionist claims to national rights were achieved only at the expense the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine.

63. The endless myths fabricated by the Zionists to justify their political aims not only concerned, of necessity, the Palestinian people, to the extent of denying their very existence, but also involved the Jews and Judaism. The adherents to a faith were claimed to be a people with a national entity and an international legal status. The Zionists further claimed for the Zionist State the right and the competence to legislate on behalf of this national entity as they also claimed the right to impose national obligations upon that same entity. A colonialist political movement based on ethnic and religious discrimination was identified with Judaism. This colonialist racist movement was further declared to be the liberation movement of all Jews throughout the world — in Asia, Europe and America. If Zionist claims are to be believed, Zionism is the liberation movement of Chancellor Kreisky of Austria and Mr. Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States.

64. Not content with merely clearing the land of Palestine of its majority of indigenous Arab population by means of coercion, terror and dispossession, the Zionists had to use equally coercive measures to uproot Jewish communities throughout the world in order to settle and colonize the conquered territories. But the majority of Jews chose not to settle in the Zionist State, and, significantly, now more Jews are leaving it daily. Ben-Gurion declared to his Cabinet on 5 August 1948 that "generations have not in vain suffered and struggled to see only 800,000 Jews in this country. It is the duty of the present generation to redeem the Jews in the Arab and European countries .

65. Thus the Zionist emissaries started their drive to uproot the Jews from those countries. There were suddenly periods of swastika epidemics in Europe. In Arab countries the measures had to be more drastic. Nothing was more galling to the Zionists and more damaging to their cause than the refusal of the Jews in Arab lands to be "redeemed" by the Zionists. Furthermore, the Zionists had to find an excuse for 'heir refusal to allow the return of the Palestinian refugees. They had to force into effect a so-called exchange of population.

66. Since the time when the Zionist conference held in New York in 1942 had come out with what was known as the Biltmore Programme. Iraq had been signaled by the Zionists as the land where the Palestinians should be settled. Iraq was thus a special target and the Iraqi Jewish community a special prize to be captured by the Zionists. Hence. Zionist agents were sent to throw bombs into the Jewish synagogues and cafes of Baghdad. The facts about this Zionist Plot started to come out in Israel. I refer anyone interested in pursuing this subject further to The Jerusalem Post of 21 July 1964, Haolani Hazeh of 27 April and 6 June 1966. and Black Panther of 9 November 1975. These facts started to appear as the Oriental Sephardic Jews became increasingly disenchanted with the Zionist State, where they had come underprivileged, second-class citizens in the Askenazi-dominated establishment. Iraqi Jews in particular. who had left Iraq as immigrants, not as refugees, began to speak of the privileges and the position they had enjoyed in Iraq before the Zionists stepped into the picture. These developments led the Revolutionary Command Council in Iraq to adopt a decision allowing all Iraqi Jews to return to their homes in Iraq, guaranteeing them compensation and equality with all other Iraqi citizens, in accordance with the laws of the land.

67. Furthermore, Iraq strongly objects to the creation of States based solely on highly arbitrary criteria of religious affiliation and ethnic exclusivity. Those are the criteria of racism and racial discrimination. The grave dangers arising from the precedent of the establishment of such a State should be clearly visible for all the world to see in what is now happening in our part of the world. How many other religious and ethnic groups will attempt to emulate the Zionist experiment? How many other Israelis will be established by force and bloodshed around the world? The international community could do much worse than begin to consider the possibilities of the restoration of a secular, democratic entity in Palestine. Iraq fully supports the proposal put forth by the PLO and repeated here by their representative on the establishment of such a democratic and secular State in Palestine. It is a noble and far-sighted vision, deserving all support an encouragement.

68. What are the prospects of achieving any positive and effective action as the outcome of the present debate? The outlook is, frankly, not encouraging; one permanent member of the Council which is allied in every way but in name with the aggressor has already made it clear that it would oppose any changes in the iniquitous resolution 242 (1967), by which it means that it will veto a call for the withdrawal of the Zionist aggressors from all the occupied territories and that it will veto any resolution which would recognize the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. The United States does not appear to be interested at present in these issues. According to press reports. Mr. Kissinger instead warns the Zionist Foreign Minister that his country's security could be jeopardized by developments in Angola. Such remarks could only mean that the self-styled arbiter of peace in the Middle East is using the Zionists and the influence they wield in Congress in order to get that body to approve American involvement in Angola on the pretext that America's actions in Angola will also affect Israel. The Zionists' intercession would in turn enable them to elicit further guarantees and concessions from the United States Government. Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister has declared at Tel Aviv that the Zionists have sufficient military power to give military backing to their freedom of political manoeuvre.

69. It is in this context that one would have to view the nature of the struggle that the Palestinians and the Arabs would have to wage in order to attain justice for themselves and peace in their lands. The representative of the PLO. Mr. Khaddoumi. concluded his statement before the Council by stating that "our people will continue its just struggle by all legitimate means to attain its legitimate goals" [l870th meeting, para. 189]. I should like to reiterate here that Iraq stands ready to play its part in that struggle in full solidarity with its brothers. Our struggle is one and indivisible. We are strengthened in our resolve by our belief that the non-aligned, the Islamic, the African, the socialist and all peace-loving peoples see and support the justness of our cause.

70. The PRESIDENT: I now request the representative of Iraq to withdraw from the Council table so that the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization may resume his seat. The next speaker is the representative of India. In accordance with 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 India. I now invite that representative to take his seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

71. Mr. JAIPAL (India): Mr. President, may I say how very happy I am to see you presiding over the Council at this time when it is engaged in a debate on what is, perhaps, the most important question of the day. May I also express to you, and through you to the Security Council, my thanks for the courtesy of granting my delegation's request to participate in the current debate.

72. India was a member of the Special Committee on Palestine established by the General Assembly on 15 May 1947 to deal with the Palestine question.4/ Since then we have taken a continuing and close interest in it, and we participated as a member of the Security Council in the discussions that led to the adoption of its resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

73. May I also say that my delegation was happy to see that the PLO is participating in this debate. The decision of the Security Council to invite the PLO is a wise one and is based on common sense. Mr. President, you had made it clear at the outset that the invitation to the PLO was not made under rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure. You were, of course, perfectly right. It was, indeed, an cut hoc decision, entirely within the competence of the Security Council, which is master of its own procedures. It was a decision that stemmed from General Assembly, resolutions 3236 (XXIX), 3237 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX).

74. The General Assembly, having accepted that the PLO represents the Palestinian people, naturally expects it to be invited to participate in meetings of the Security Council on the Palestinian question. More so because the General Assembly considers that the Palestinian people is a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In that context, the General Assembly, furthermore, has recognized the right of the Palestinian people to national independence and sovereignty. These decisions of the General Assembly cannot be without interest to the Security Council.

75. When the Palestine question was discussed in the Security Council in February 1948, the Security Council received some very sound advice from the delegation of the United States of America. The representative of the United States at that time stated that "the recommendations of the General Assembly have great moral force... the Security Council, although not bound under the Charter to accept and carry out General Assembly recommendations, is nevertheless expected to give great weight to them"5/ We are glad to see that this piece of good American advice has made its impact on several members of the Security Council.

76. However, some members of the Security Council seem to have reservations. One member has stated, quite rightly, that the PLO is neither a State nor a Government. What is it, then? The PLO is not a cypher. It is an entity that represents a people belonging to areas that are stateless and that are under illegal foreign occupation. There is such a thing as stateless territory in international law. Parts of the former mandated territory of Palestine have the legal status of statelessness, and no State, not even the United Nations, is competent to dispose of that stateless territory. Only the people of that stateless territory have the competence to do so.

77. A famous authority on international law, Hans Kelsen, has the following to say on this subject:

"At the moment the Government of the United Kingdom withdrew from Palestine that territory was in a legal status of statelessness until the new State of Israel was established and recognized by other States, but that part of Palestine which is not under the control of Israel legally will remain a stateless territory until a recognized government is established there."

78. There is one other matter on which I should like to comment. One member of the Council has spoken of the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people. What these interests are has not been defined, nor how they derive their legitimacy, but it is apparently admitted that, whatever the interests may be, they are legitimate. When interests have a legal basis and are recognized as legitimate, do they not acquire some measure of the quality of rights? I am speaking not about the rights of States but about the rights of peoples.

79. The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations begins with the words "We the peoples". These words were borrowed from a famous document belonging to a famous former British colony which Mr. Ivor Richard will not have any difficulty in identifying. The Charter speaks in the Preamble of, equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small. Article I, paragraph 2, of the Charter and Article 55 speak also of equal rights of peoples. I submit that Palestinians are a people and are entitled, to equality of rights in terms of the Charter.

80. The General Assembly has accepted that the Palestinian people have certain national rights. In our opinion, the Security Council should do the same. In fact the Security Council accepted the existence of rights for Arabs in Palestine as early as 1948. I am referring to the preamble to resolution 50 (1948), adopted by the Security Council on 29 May 1948, which states:

"The Security Council,

"Desiring to bring about a cessation of hostilities in Palestine without prejudice to the rights, claims and position of either Arabs or Jews".

Those words were obviously taken from Article 40 of the Charter of the United Nations. It seems to us that the clear intent of the Security Council was that no military advantage should accrue to the conqueror and that nothing should prejudice the rights, claims and position of either Arabs or Jews. In 1948 the Security Council spoke of the rights of Arabs and Jews and not of their interests. Is it now seriously contended that Palestinian Arabs had certain rights on 29 May 1948 and that they have since lost those rights and acquired only legitimate interests? The concept that some people have rights and others only interests is not tenable. Nor, in our opinion, does it conform to the democratic character of the Charter.

81. The time has come for the Security Council to establish a framework of principles and procedures for resolving the Middle East problem and the Palestine question. Its resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which we supported, did put an end to the fighting, and if they have failed to bring about a just and lasting Peace settlement it is surely because the Palestinian question has remained neglected. In addition to the elements mentioned in resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the Council, we hope, will stipulate the national right of the Palestinian people to have a State of their own, and this is, of course, without Prejudice to the rights of the State of Israel. The rest is a matter for negotiation and compromise.

82 We share the regret of others that Israel should have thought it necessary to refrain from participation in this debate. Frankly, we cannot see what Israel would lose by participating in this debate. Whatever its misgivings and apprehensions, and however justified they may be, we do not see any rational alternative to negotiations between the principal parties concerned in a realistic, enlightened and forwarding manner. The burden of the past certainly weighs heavily on all, including Israel but is the time not yet ripe for paying attention to the promise of peace the future? In this regard the great Powers have a crucial role to play, a role which is expected of them by the United Nations in the interests of international peace and security.

83. In conclusion, I should like to draw the attention of the Council to the simple, straightforward request made by the representatives of PLO in his statement of 12 January. He said: "The Security Council should... consider the only remaining alternative: namely, to recognize our people's national... rights and to assist it in realizing its national aspirations" [1870th meeting, para. 144].

84. The PLO has come to the Security Council in search of a peaceful, just and honourable solution, and that in itself is a significant development for an organization that had once despaired of a peaceful solution. Therefore, one cannot fail to be touched by the confidence of the PLO in the Security Council. This is clearly a moment for the Security Council to provide meaningful leadership rather than paralyse itself with its own special brand of procedural virtue.

85. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of Morocco. In accordance with established practice, I would request the representative of Egypt to withdraw temporarily from his place at the Council table in order that it may be taken by the representative of Morocco. I now invite that representative to take a place at the Council table and to make a statement.

86. Mr. ZAIMI (Morocco) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, first of all I should like to convey to you the sincere congratulations of my delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. The fact that the presidency is now occupied by a young and dynamic son of Africa is something that fills us with both joy and pride. Allow me to thank you and the members of the Council for being kind enough to give me an opportunity to participate in this important debate.

87. My delegation has followed very closely the course of this discussion. We are indeed deeply gratified that the question of Palestine and the chronic state of crisis of the Middle East which has resulted from it are more and more becoming understood in their concrete reality by the international community.

88. The international community has in fact become aware of the actual components of the problem and has been able to identify what has to be done in order to bring about a true and genuine solution. That awareness has been particularly reflected in the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions, resolutions which reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to sovereignty and independence in their own homeland and which restore to them their right to express through their own representatives their desires concerning their future and their views on the conditions which must necessarily precede a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

89. The extremely wise decision which was taken by the Security Council to invite the authentic representatives of the Palestinian people to participate in this debate further illustrates this general awareness of the state of flagrant injustice of which that valiant people has been a victim for more than three decades.

90. I shall be stating nothing new if I here reaffirm something which has become self-evident. Although we very much value all the laudable efforts which have been made by various people to defuse the explosive situation which has prevailed and which continues to prevail in the Middle East, we are still profoundly convinced that the objective conditions for a real solution are, first, the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to independence and national sovereignty in their country and, secondly, the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories. These are the two sine qua non conditions if a just and lasting peace is to be brought about, and this is the foundation on which all the required guarantees must be based.

91. A number of those who have spoken before me saw fit to refer to the genesis of the item we are now considering. They did this with the perfectly justified desire of uncovering the roots of the evil and of allowing the historic facts to speak for themselves. Therefore, I see no reason why I should revert to it myself. Suffice it to say that everyone agrees that unless the rights of the Palestinians in Palestine are satisfied, no solution can possibly be viable.

92. Furthermore, all those who have spoken before the Council have agreed that the efforts made hitherto by the Security Council in order to resolve the problem of the Middle East must be supplemented or updated so as to take into account all the facts, particularly those which have only recently become known to the international community. Faced with this international effort to understand the problem and to seek sincerely for a settlement of it, Israel is sinking further into the murky depths of a policy of unprecedented obstinacy.

93. After having sabotaged all the attempts at peace from the mission of Count Bernadotte right up to that of Mr. Jarring. Israel has responded to the real terms for a just and lasting solution to the problem by adopting the policy of putting its head in the sand. Israel refuses to admit that the price of peace and security in the region cannot be anything less than its withdrawal from the Arab territories which it occupies by force. Israel, while insisting on its right to exist, is frantically endeavouring to have the rights of the Palestinian people to existence and national sovereignty in their country forgotten by the rest of the world.

94. The reply that Israel found to the appeals made by the international community for recognition and fulfillment of the rights of the Palestinian people and for the restoration to them of the territories seized from their owners was simply a massive and blind bombing of the Palestinian refugee camps and the proliferation of Zionist colonies in the occupied Arab territories. The underlying significance of that reply can be hidden from no one. It is indeed a desperate measure to destroy an entire people and completely to obliterate the Arab character of the territory. Both the people and the territory are embarrassing witnesses of this unforgettable crime. Israel is attempting in vain to avoid facing up to reality, which, however, is as clear as the light of day. Peace in the Middle East can be brought about only with the consent of the Palestinian people, and it certainly cannot be brought about in spite of it.

95. The PLO, which is the authentic representative of the Palestinian people, has given to the world proof of a very advanced stage of political maturity. It has won the admiration of all by fully shouldering its historic responsibilities in a serious search for a political settlement and through its vision which has always been focused on the future.

96. The situation in the Middle East is undoubtedly an explosive one. The intransigence of Israel may well plunge the region once again into an adventure fraught If with incalculable risks. The Security Council, the United Nations body which is responsible for maintaining peace and security throughout the world, is therefore required to do its duty fully. Safeguarding peace and security is something which can and must be done not only after hostilities have broken out, but also and above all by exercising moral support for those who have been stripped of their rights and by leading the usurpers to face up to the facts and to revise their selfish designs.

97. In his statement made on 12 January, Mr. Khaddoumi, the representative of the PLO, said:

"However, I should note the deliberate absence of Israel from this discussion. Why is Israel not f present? What is its pretext for boycotting the Council's meeting? Israel is absent simply because the representatives of the people of Palestine are invited to take part in these deliberations. This symbolic of who is anxious to participate in the process of peace-making and who is deliberately eager to frustrate the will of the Council.[Ibid., para. 140.]

We trust that members of the Council have grasped the meaning of that message.

98. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of Guinea. In accordance with established practice, I now request the representative of Jordan to withdraw temporarily from his seat at the Council table in order that his place may be taken by the representative of Guinea. I invite that representative to take a place at the Council table and to make statement.

99. Mrs. Jeanne Martin CISSE (Guinea) (interpretation from French): That the problem of the Middle East including the Palestinian question should be discussed in the Security Council with you, Sir, a distinguished representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, as President is, for all peace-loving peoples, an event full of significance and a source of encouragement. Indeed, Mr. President, you — Salim Ahmed Salim — are a harbinger of peace as your name suggests, and you have always devoted yourself to the defence of the oppressed. Your human qualities and your energy as a vigorous fighter have been widely recognized and have earned you esteem. We proudly consider your record as the very able 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 a contribution of a youthful Africa to a world anxious for justice, peace and security.

100. I shall not dwell on the strong bonds between our two countries and our two heads of State . Through you, may be allowed to pay a sincere tribute to the courageous people of the United Republic of Tanzania, which has been unswerving in its support for national liberation movements, to which it has always opened its towns, thus going a long way to promoting the fulfilment of the legitimate aspirations of their peoples.

101. For all those reasons, my delegation is convinced that the present work of the Council will contribute 10 a clarification of the Middle East situation including the Palestinian question.

102. It is truly heartening for the delegation of the State-Party of Guinea to see the PLO participating in the present debate, and we bid them welcome. Their presence does credit to the Security Council for than one reason and should make it possible for us to take a more just approach to this question.

103. On this historic occasion we should like to pay a tribute to the courageous struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the PLO, and we should like to renew our unconditional support for them and our complete solidarity with them in their just struggle to recover their national rights to self-determination, freedom and independence.

104. If constant efforts by the Security Council over more than a quarter of a century have not led to a genuine peace in the Middle East, it is, we believe, because every solution that has been advanced has been nothing more than an attempt to make do, to cope with circumstances and because the international community has failed to live up to its responsibilities. Resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 seemed at the time to be most appropriate and, if carried out, would have been a decisive step towards a progressive settlement of the conflict. Like many other resolutions relating to the conflict, that resolution remained a dead letter. Europe, and even more the United States, held out hopes which did not come to fruition. Why was that so? Simply because we were preoccupied with effects and seemed to care little for causes.

105. I do not wish to go into the whole history of the Palestinian tragedy, but shall instead confine myself to a few salient features. For more than a quarter of a century the Palestinian people have lived with suffering and with hope. Ever since the League of Nations placed the countries of the Fertile Crescent—Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq—under a British and French Mandate, Palestinians have had no other status than that of a colonial people. Because Palestine was deemed to be a country preparing for self-determination, it can be said that its people had a much happier fate then than today, because they were on the threshold of independence, in accordance with Article 22 of the League of Nations' Mandate. Regrettably, that self-determination, indeed that independence, turned out to be a dream because, in contrast to what happened to Lebanon, Iraq and Syria in 1947, Palestine was arbitrarily used to solve a European problem, the Jewish problem.

106. The League of Nations wished to accommodate the Jews who had been driven from Europe, and thereby committed a grave injustice vis-a-vis Palestine. Instead of helping it to recover its sovereignty as had been planned, it lent itself to a plot against that country which then found itself under a much heavier yoke —the new-style colonialism. A strife-torn country, its inhabitants maltreated, imprisoned, tortured and driven from their lands, its traditions and customs scorned, its hopes frustrated—that is what the Organization, manipulated by imperialism, gave to the Palestinians instead of self-determination and independence.

107. At the beginning of this year 1976, breaking with an unjust past, the Security Council took an important step forward by welcoming the delegation of the PLO to this assembly. In so doing, the Council has in a sense rehabilitated the history of the Organization. The participation of the PLO as the authentic representative of the Palestinian people in the present debate will, we are convinced, make it possible for the Security Council to move positively towards a just and definitive settlement of the Middle East problem.

108. During the very long discussion on the question of the Middle East too many untruths have been spoken and have contributed to sowing confusion amongst us. However, history has taught us that it is not with lies and intimidation that a battle can be won. The moment of truth has come. The PLO, a courageous fighter for peace, justice and truth, has come before the Security Council.

109. It is at this important time in the history of the Organization that Israel has chosen to be absent. Its absence is clear proof of the intentions of the Israeli authorities to perpetuate war and threats, to refuse to comply with their duty vis-a-vis the Organization, namely, to participate in the restoration of justice and peace in the area.

110. In any event, we are convinced that, regardless of the difficulties and obstacles, the people of Palestine will succeed in recovering their usurped homeland, for neither killing, nor bombs, nor intimidation can put out the flame of the just struggle of a people which is determined to prevail.

111. The time has come for the Security Council to join with the new forces which are fighting for the restoration of peace and justice in the Middle East by settling the Palestine question on a basis other than the much-discussed resolution 242 (1967), which rightly has been rejected by the parties concerned because it has been shown to be inadequate and unsuitable.

112. For some time now the world public, reading the American press, has felt hopeful regarding the position of the United States concerning the new situation which has arisen in the Middle East. The statement which we have just heard from the representative of the United States, Mr. Moynihan, unfortunately did not come up to those expectations.

113. The position of the United States has not been as firm as the world expected; in any case, the United States Government has not lived up to its responsi-bilities in the search for a settlement to the problem. In our view, those who hold the key to the problem, those who can push open the door to a settlement, as others have said in this gathering, should help us and should relieve us of the anxiety which we have felt now for more than a quarter of a century. We believe that the Security Council should always be guided by the principles of the Charter and, in particular, should endorse the proposal put forward by the PLO—namely, that full importance should be accorded to Article 36 of the Charter and that General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3376 (XXX) should be implemented, with pressure being brought to bear on Israel to decide to withdraw from the lands it has usurped.

114. The PRESIDENT: Before calling on the next speaker, I wish to inform members of the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Cuba containing a request that he 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 the representative of Cuba to participate in the discussion in conformity with the usual practice and with the relevant provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure. There being no objection, I invite that representative 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. (Cuba) took the place reserved for him at the side at the Council chamber.

115. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of the German Democratic Republic In accordance with established practice, I request the representative of the PLO to withdraw temporarily from his seat at the Council table in order that his place may be taken by the representative of the German Democratic Republic, whom I now invite to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

116. Mr. FLORIN (German Democratic Republic) (interpretation from Russian): Mr. President, at the outset of my statement may I express my gratification at having the honour of being able to speak at a time when you, the representative of an African State with which the German Democratic Republic has the closest and most friendly relations, are presiding over this body. We know you and value you highly as a tireless champion of the liberation of peoples from colonialism. I should also like to thank the members of the Council for allowing the delegation of the German Democratic Republic to participate in the discussion of this important item.

117. The Security Council has before it a problem or, rather, to be more accurate, a set of problems-relating to the Middle East and demanding general attention, since what is at stake is peace and security not only in that region but elsewhere.

118. My Government has frequently had occasion to express its view regarding the root-causes of the Middle East conflict, and has come out in favour of a peaceful, lasting and just settlement. The delegation of the German Democratic Republic views it as its duty to take part in the present discussion particularly since, pursuant to resolution adopted by the General; Assembly at its thirtieth session,6/ the German Democratic Republic became a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

119. That session of the Assembly represented a further step forward in the history of the struggle i peoples for peace, security, disarmament and social progress against the imperialist policies of aggression, oppression and exploitation, and in favour of the right of all peoples to enjoy a peaceful life in secure con conditions including the right to have their own State This was reflected in particular in a number of resolution adopted at the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, whose purpose it was to overcome situation which had arisen in the Middle East as result of Israel's continued aggression, and to give fresh impetus to efforts to bring about a comprehensive political settlement.

120. The discussion of the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question at the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, and the adoption of the relevant resolutions, showed with abundant clarity that the overwhelming majority of States Members of the United Nations could no longer tolerate a situation in the Middle East which endangers world peace. In this connexion, it was emphasized that the reason for the tension and the ongoing conflict, as well as for the constant threat of an outbreak of overt military clashes in that area, was the continuing aggression of Israel, which obstinately refuses to withdraw from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, and has refused to recognize the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to create their own State.

121. The German Democratic Republic, as a member of the socialist community, has never failed to emphasize that a just long-term solution to the conflict in the Middle East cannot be brought about unless the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine are guaranteed. The twenty-ninth and thirtieth sessions of the General Assembly have confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Member States hold the same view. This can be seen, for example, from General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX), 3375 (XXX) and 3414 (XXX), which were quite rightly referred to by many of those who have spoken before me.

122. We are very pleased to state that a realistic view has prevailed in the Security Council — namely. that the Palestinian question is not simply a matter of refugees and thus a purely humanitarian issue, but. rather, a decisive political issue, one which affects war and peace. On the basis of this assessment, we have to adopt the proper approach to finding a solution to this problem. Unless the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine are exercised, there will be no peace in the Middle East.

123. The statement made by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, more than a year ago in the General Assembly marked an important milestone in further understanding the Middle East problem. Since them, an ever-growing number of realistic politicians are becoming more aware that, if one soberly assesses the situation in the Middle East, one cannot fail to acknowledge that the PLO the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine and that it should be invited and should be involved in the search for a solution the Middle East conflict on an equal footing.

124. The people of the German Democratic Republic has always supported and continues to support the Arab of Palestine and its representative the PLO. This falls into line with a basic principle of my State’s foreign policy, which has consistently and unswervingly shown active solidarity towards the national liberation movements. For the people of the German Democratic Republic, which in the exercise right to self-determination chose the course of socialism, it is second nature to be on the side of other peoples struggling against imperialist, colonial and racist oppression—whether it be in the Middle East or in the southern part of Africa.

125. It is a source of honour and pride to the people of the German Democratic Republic that it stands side by side with the people of Palestine struggling for the realization of its inalienable rights.just as it also stands side by side with the people of a young African State which is obliged to defend itself against the aggression of South African racists, for our people—the people of the German Democratic Republic—has itself had to wage a bitter struggle against the designs of imperialism and for the recognition of its own rights.

126. My delegation warmly welcomes the decision of the Security Council to invite the representatives of the PLO to participate in the discussion of the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question. This is indeed an encouraging sign. Like other socialist States, the German Democratic Republic is in favour of a comprehensive political settlement for the Middle East conflict, one which will guarantee a durable and just peace in the area. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic, Mr. Oskar Fischer, in his statement of 24 September 1975 at a plenary meeting of the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, stressed that "Partial steps—and this is shown by the present situation—cannot replace the necessary comprehensive solution to this problem." 7/. Today this is a view that is shared by most States.

127. We are profoundly convinced that the ongoing process of detente in the world provides us with favourable conditions to remove the military hotbed existing in the Middle East. We firmly reject the desires of a certain Power to provoke a world war by exacerbating the Middle East conflict and to warm its hands over someone else's conflagration. Peace in the Middle East can be achieved provided that Israel withdraws completely from all the Arab territories it occupied in 1967 and that the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine are realized, including its right to create its own State. Only in this way can real conditions be created to guarantee the secure existence and development of all States in that region.

128. It is time now to renew the work already started by an existing international machinery, namely, the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East. In the opinion of my Government, it goes without saying that the only legitimate representatives of the Arab people of Palestine should participate in the work of the Conference from the very outset and on an equal footing—and I refer the PLO.

129. As we are aware, the Government of Israel continues completely to ignore the numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council aimed at defusing the situation in the Middle East and bringing about a political settlement of the conflict. Obviously, the ruling circles in Israel have not yet grasped that an aggressive policy based on the Zionist concept of aggression is doomed to failure. How can we otherwise appraise the uninterrupted aggression of Israel, which is referred to in the Secretary-General's report on the basis of information from United Nations observers in the Middle East. The broad political, military and economic support which is given to Israel by a number of States has in no way helped to make the aggressor aware of political realities an necessities.

130. After the thirtieth session of the General Assembly had shown that the aggressor and his accomplices were in a state of international isolation, the ruling circles in Israel preferred to withdraw into isolation. This is not the sort of position which can help to bring about the discussion of the Middle East problem as a whole and with the participation of all parties. Once again it has become clear who is genuinely concerned with establishing a durable and just peace and who is not.

131. In referring to Israel's position, we cannot fail to advert to the serious responsibility borne by those States which help to raise Israel's military potential or block any condemnation of the criminal aggressions perpetrated by it. After all that has happened—particularly Indo-China the ruling circles in Israel should finally realize that times have changed. There will not be peace in the Middle East, nor will there be any security for Israel, as long as that State continues its aggressive and annexationist policy and as long as the thinking and actions of its Government are determined by annexationist plans.

132. Today, as I listened to the statement made by the representative of a permanent member of the Security Council, I realized once again how difficult it is to learn from the past, to grasp what is happening and to take a courageous step forward in order really to promote the achievement of those goals that have been so eloquently referred to here. A just and secure peace in the Middle East must be sought today. The decision must not be put off. Otherwise, it might well turn out to be too late. It has been stated here repeatedly and aptly, by speakers who have preceded me, that a great deal of time has been wasted and many opportunities to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict have been lost. Peace in the Middle East should not and cannot depend on purely tactical concepts connected with a pre-electoral campaign in any country, even if it is a permanent member of the Security Council.

133. The States on whose assistance and support the Israeli aggressor depends should revise their position, so that a realistic appreciation of what is happening will be made in Tel Aviv.

134. My delegation would voice the hope that the results of this series of Security Council meetings will be in conformity with the need to bring about a speedy just and durable peace settlement in the Middle East and that the Security Council will be equal to its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

135. The PRESIDENT: The last speaker is the representative of the Yemen Arab Republic. 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 the Yemen Arab Republic. I now invite that representative to take that place at the Council table and to make his statement.

136. Mr. SALLAM (Yemen Arab Republic) Mr. President, permit me at the beginning of my participation in this debate to associate myself an the delegation of the Yemen Arab Republic with the sentiments expressed in tribute to the memory of a great man, a great son of China and a great son Asia, Mr. Chou En-lai. He was a great leader, and outstanding statesman and a faithful architect of the modern history of the People's Republic of China. The Government and people of the Yemen Arabs Republic regret his passing away and consider that his death was a great loss not only to the People's Republic of China but also to humanity as a whole.

137. At sad moments like these, it is an even greater pleasure and honour for me to congratulate you Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of January 1976. Your excellent qualities, your statesmanship your vast experience as a diplomat of the Unite Republic of Tanzania and the fact that you are the Chairman of the Special Committee—all that, in addition to your magnanimity, is a guarantee for us under your presidency the Council deliberations will have fruitful consequences which will lead the international community to peace and security.

138. It also gives my delegation great pleasure —although the Yemen Arab Republic is not a member of the Security Council—to congratulate the five new members of the Security Council. We feel profound satisfaction, too, that the rightful representative Palestine, the PLO, is assuming its responsibilities the deliberations of the Council on an equal with all Members of the United Nations.

139. The General Assembly on 10 November 19 adopted its resolution 3375 (XXX), which calls for the invitation of the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in all efforts, deliberation and conferences on the Middle East.

140. The Security Council on 30 November 1975 adopted its resolution 381 (1975), by which it decided in subparagraph (a) to continue the debate on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question, "taking into account all relevant United Nations resolutions". That resolution was reaffirmed by the Security Council's decision, with 9 members voting in favour, to invite the PLO to participate in the deliberations of the Council on the Middle East including the Palestinian question [see 1859th meeting].

141. Now the rightful representatives of the core issue of the Middle East problem are here, after three long decades of struggle and suffering, are here in front of the United Nations organ responsible for maintaining international peace and security. The Security Council today is duty bound to support the call of the international community to enforce the implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions and to seize this opportunity to lay the foundations of the terms of peace in the Middle East, taking into account all relevant United Nations resolutions. If this Council fails to take a step forward on the way to establishing peace and security in the Middle East and if it fails at least to take punitive measures .against the aggressor, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Council will then have to bear the responsibility of leaving the Middle East Problem as it is, to the discretion of the aggressor and his supporters to choose between peace and war.

142. The tragedy of the creation of the Zionist State the unique tragedy of our time, a diabolic design greeted against the land and the people of Palestine. the tragedy was initiated in 1898; in 1917 land was promised under the Balfour Declaration to the Zionists by those who did not have the right to make such a promise; and in 1947 the issue first came to the United Nations with the abhorrent and unjust recommendation that Palestine be partitioned. The partition resolution, resolution 181 (II), was adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947 by a small majority. That resolution was a clear and manifest violation of the Charter, the principles of human rights, and the territorial integrity of Palestine.

143 spite of that infamous partition resolution,which gave 55 per cent of the land of Palestine to a monitory of 32 per cent, Zionist invaders went beyond those limits, and new waves of European settlers began °°d the remote corners of the land of peace, new-comers with hatred in their hearts and revenge in their blood revenge not against their persecutors but against their blood brothers, their kin. The terrorist .Zionist gangs spread through the land like fire, spreading havoc, terrorizing men, women and children and forcing them to flee, leaving behind their homes, and property. The abominable acts of the Zionist terrorist gangs against the Palestine people will never be forgotten by the Arab people, or for that matter by the Jewish people themselves.

144. Closely in accordance with the historical fact that Israel and the Zionists have never at any time entertained the idea of peace in Palestine or in the Middle East region as a whole, the 1956 aggression directed against the Arab Republic of Egypt was a clear manifestation of the expansionist policy of the Zionist State, which attempted unsuccessfully to annex the remaining parts of Palestine and to occupy the Sinai peninsula. The same expansionist Zionist policy was manifested once more in the perfidious aggression of 1967 by which Israel occupied the whole territory of Palestine, the whole Sinai peninsula and the Syrian Arab Republic's Golan Heights.

145. Instead of seizing this opportunity to maintain a durable and lasting peace in the area based on right and justice, Israel went on to consolidate its occupation against the will of the whole international community. The October war of liberation of 1973 provided Israel and the world with conclusive evidence that the Arab people would not allow their rights to be neglected or their territories to remain under Israeli occupation. In spite of the clear victory of the Arab people in the October war of liberation, the Zionist intransigent policy gained momentum and more settlements were established in the occupied Arab territories. This intransigent policy of the Israelis cannot be explained in terms of logic or in terms of the human desire for coexistence in peace with friends and neighbours. The only explanation for this phenomenon is that zionism does not flourish in a peaceful medium, and that consequently intransigent international zionism is preparing the Israelis and our Arab Jewish brothers to commit suicide.

146. The Yemen Arab Republic has more than once declared that it would welcome the return of its Yemeni Jewish brothers who left Yemen during 1947-1948 to join the herds of Jews to be sacrificed by intransigent international zionism on the altar of the "big lie", the Zionist empire. The Arab Jews are our blood brothers, our kin. We greatly desire to live in peace with them, as we have lived before. We do not wish to see our Yemeni Jewish brothers, or for that matter any of our Arab Jewish brothers, to be led by the nose to the altar as a sacrifice to the "big lie" or on the pretext of enforcing Israeli terms of peace. The alternative to war is peace, and peace can be brought about within the framework of the United Nations resolutions which call for the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all the occupied Arab territories and the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people.

147. Therefore it is imperative that the Council adopt a constructive and concrete resolution which will put the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question in its proper perspective and on course towards peace and security in the region. The Yemen Arab Republic in this respect affirms the constructive role of the Geneva Peace Conference and the indisputable right of the PLO to participate in the deliberations of the aforementioned Conference on an equal footing with all Members of the United Nations. The General Assembly has recognized this right of the Palestinian people, and we feel that it is high time for the Security Council to follow suit and to demonstrate to the world community that the United Nations organ responsible for the maintenance of peace and security in the world is convinced that the Geneva Peace Conference must be reconvened with the full participation of the representatives of the PLO.

148. It is also essential and in line with the establishment of a just and durable peace in the area that friends of Israel should not supply the Zionists with arms, but supply them with a white cane with no magic powers to assist them in finding the way to peace and security among their blood brothers and their kin. However, if the Zionists, with their intransigent policy, continue to make believe they can still force a peace settlement without justice through their efficient international news media, which propagate distorted versions of the historical facts of the Middle East conflict, and through the development of weapons of mass destruction, then it is my delegation's convention that history will repeat itself and that frustrated international Zionism will lead humanity to sit under the pillars of the Philistines' temple where, according to an epic narrative in the Old Testament—the of Judges—Samson killed himself and his oppressor, the Philistines, in an act of suicide and frustration.


The meeting rose at 6.20 p.m.

Notes

1/ See A/L.523,

2/ See A/10217.

3/ See James Forrestal, The Forrestal Diaries, W. Millis and E. S. Duffield, eds. (New York, The Viking Press, 1951), p. 363

4/ See General Assembly resolution 106 (S-I).

5/ See Official Records of the Security Council. Third 253rd meeting.

6/ See General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX).

7/ See Official Records of the General Assembly. Thirtieth Session Plenary Meetings, 2360th meeting.


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