Israel's Foreign Minister, Mr. Abba Eban, last night (Sunday, 7 March) said that Israel would?
GV Ext. Agron House, Jerusalem
SCU Abba Eban
AGRON HOUSE, JERUSALEM, EBAN SPEAKING.
Initials VS/4.23 MR/OS/416
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Background: Israel's Foreign Minister, Mr. Abba Eban, last night (Sunday, 7 March) said that Israel would not be the first to break the Middle East ceasefire, despite the declaration by President Sadat of the United Arab Republic that he was no longer bound by the Middle East truce. At the same time, Mr. Eban reaffirmed that the door was wide open for negotiations with the United Arab Republic on all issues, including borders, without prior conditions.
Mr. Eban: "The UAR at best has said that it does not acknowledge the ceasefire, it will not recognise it by prolonging it, but it might do the kindness of not shooting.......I suggest that these two approaches to the ceasefire ought to be examined but as I have said the crux of the matter on the ceasefire is whether fire will be opened or not. That is the first question. If the total result of what has been published today means that there will be abstention from fire in the future, then the question arises of how should the next step be taken in the Jarring Report and here we have no doubt on what ought to be done. We believe that there should be a response to our expressed readiness for detailed and concrete negotiations on all the matters- and that now means on all the matters mentioned in the Secretary-General's report, our own document, Dr. Jarring's document, the UAR document. That leaves open the discussion on any and all the problems including the problem of withdrawal through secured, recognised and agreed boundaries. I express the hope that a similar readiness will be expressed on the UAR side so that a peace-making effort can go forward without delay."