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variation of this which has been suggested would be the reconstitution of the country as a federated state, with the West Bank becoming an autonomous Palestinian province.
-Still others, including many Israelis, feel that with the West Bank returned to Jordan, and with the resulting existence of two communities-Palestinian and Jordanian-within Jordan, opportunities would be created thereby for the Palestinians to find self-expression.
-In the case of a solution which would rejoin the West Bank to Jordan or a solution involving a West Bank-Gaza state, there would still arise the property claims of those Palestinians who before 1948 resided in areas that became the State of Israel. These claims have been acknowledged as a serious problem by the international community ever since the adoption by the United Nations of Resolution 194 on this subject in 1918, a resolution which the United Nations has repeatedly reaffirmed and which the United States has supported. A solution will be further complicated by the property claims against Arab states of the many Jews from those states who moved to Israel in its early years after achieving statehood.
-In addition to property claims, some believe they should have the option of returning to their original homes under any settlement.
-Other Arab leaders, while pressing the importance of Palestinian involvement in a settlement, have taken the position that the definition of Palestinian interests is something for the Palestinian people themselves to sort out, and the view has been expressed by responsible Arab leaders that realization of Palestinian rights need not be inconsistent with the existence of Israel.
No one, therefore, seems in a position today to say exactly what Palestinian objectives are. Even the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is recognized by the Arab League and the U.N. General Assembly as the representative of the Palestinian people, has been ambivalent. Officially and publicly, its objective is described as a binational secular state, but there are some indications that coexistence between separate Palestinian and Israeli states might be considered.
When there is greater precision about those objectives, there can be clearer understanding about how to relate them to negotiations. There is the aspect of the future of the West Bank and Gaza-how those areas are to be defined and how they are to be governed. There is the aspect of the relationship between Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to those Palestinians who are not living in those areas, in the context of a settlement.
What is needed as a first step is a diplomatic process which will help bring forth a reasonable definition of Palestinian interests—a position from which negotiations on a solution of the Palestinian aspects of the problem might begin...
Another requirement is the development of a framework for negotiations—a statement of the objectives and the terms of reference. The framework for the negotiations that have taken
place thus far and the agreements they have produced involving Israel, Syria, and Egypt has been provided by U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. In accepting that framework, all of the parties to the negotiations have accepted that the objective of the negotiations is peace between them based on mutual recognition, territorial integrity, political independence, the right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, and the resolution of the specific issues which comprise the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The major problem that must be resolved in establishing a framework for bringing issues of concern to the Palestinians into negotiation, therefore, is to find a common basis for the negotiation that Palestinians and Israelis can both accept. This could be achieved by common acceptance of the above-mentioned Security Council resolutions, although they do not deal with the political aspect of the Palestinian problem.
A particularly difficult aspect of the problem is the question of who negotiates for the Palestinians. It has been our belief that Jordan would be a logical negotiator for the Palestinian-related issues. The Rabat summit, however, recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."
However, the PLO does not accept the U.N. Security Council resolutions, does not recognize the existence of Israel, and has not stated its readiness to negotiate peace with Israel; Israel does not recognize the PLO or the idea of a separate Palestinian entity. Thus we do not at this point have the framework for a negotiation involving the PLO. We cannot envision or urge a negotiation between two parties as long as one professes to hold the objective of eliminating the other-rather than the objective of negotiating peace with it.
There is one other aspect to this problem. Elements of the PLO have used terrorism to gain attention for their cause. Some Americans as well as many Israelis and others have been killed by Palestinian terrorists. The international community cannot condone such practices, and it seems to us that there must be some assurance if Palestinians are drawn into the negotiating process that these practices will be curbed.
This is the problem which we now face. We have not devised an “American" solution, nor would it be appropriate for us to do so. This is the responsibility of the parties and the purpose of the negotiating process. But we have not closed our minds to any reasonable solution which can contribute to progress toward our overriding objective in the Middle East-an Arab-Israeli peace. The step-by-step approach to negotiations which we have pursued has been based partly on the understanding that issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict take time to mature. It is obvious that thinking on the Palestinian aspects of the problem must evolve on all sides. As it does, what is not possible today may become possible.
We are prepared to consider any reasonable proposal from any quarter, and we will expect other parties to the negotiation to be equally openminded.
For the full text of Mr. Saunders' statement, see the Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1901, Dec. 1, 1975, pp. 797-800.
On November 10, 1975, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Res. olution 3376 (XXX), establishing a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, by a rollcall vote of 93 to 18 (U.S.), with 27 abstentions. Ambassador Daniel P. Moyni. han, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, spoke in plenary session on November 7 in opposition to such a Committee. He expressed reservations about the efficacy of meeting the interests and concerns of the Palestinians through resolutions of the General Assembly rather than through the give-and-take of the negotiating process. He added:
We believe also that the exhortation to exercise any Palestinian rights in Palestine creates a serious political and legal problem. Part of the geographic entity known as Palestine now constitutes the territory of a member state of the United Nations. Thus a claim to exercise rights in Palestine appears as a claim which, at least in part, involves internal jurisdiction of a member state.
For the full text of Ambassador Moynihan's statement, see Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1901, Dec. 1, 1975, pp. 795–796. GA Res. 3376 (XXX) on the Question of Palestine provides, in operative part:
The General Assembly,
1. Reaffirms its Resolution 3236 (XXIX); 2. Expresses its grave concern that no progress has been achieved towards:
(a) The exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine, including the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to national independence and sovereignty;
(6) The exercise by Palestinians of their inalienable right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted; 3. Decides to establish a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People composed of twenty member states to be appointed by the General Assembly at the current session;
4. Requests the Committee to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a program of implementation, designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights recognized in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Assembly Resolution 3236 (XXIX), and to take into account, in the formulation of its recommendations for the implementation of that program, all the powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations;
5. Authorizes the Committee, in the fulfillment of its mandate, to establish contact with, and to receive and consider suggestions and proposals from, any state and intergovernmental regional organization and the Palestine Liberation Organization;
6. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Committee with all the necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks;
7. Requests the Committee to submit its report and recommendations to the Secretary-General no later than June 1, 1976, and requests the SecretaryGeneral to transmit the report to the Security Council;
8. Requests the Security Council to consider, as soon as possible after June 1, 1976, the question of the exercise by the Palestinian people of the inalienable rights recognized in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Resolution 3236 (XXIX);
9. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Committee of the action taken by the Security Council in accordance with paragraph 8 above;
10. Authorizes the Committee, taking into consideration the action taken by the Security Council, to submit to the General Assembly, at its thirty-first session, a report containing its observations and recommendations;
11. Decides to include the item entitled “Question of Palestine" in the provisional agenda of its thirty-first session.
Secretary of State Kissinger made a statement on September 22, 1975, to the 30th U.N. General Assembly in which he declared that the contribution of the United Nations to the process of peace was essential in Cyprus, and that strict maintenance of the cease-fire required restraint of the parties and the efficacy of the U.N. peacekeeping forces. The following is an excerpt from the Secretary's address.
The details of a Cyprus settlement are for the two communities themselves to decide. However, in keeping with U.N. resolutions which the United States has fully supported, the following principles are essential:
-A settlement must preserve the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Cyprus.
-It must insure that both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities can live in freedom and have a large voice in their own affairs.
- The present dividing lines cannot be permanent. There must be agreed territorial arrangements which reflect the economic requirements of the Greek Cypriot community and take account of its self-respect.
-There must be provision for the withdrawal of foreign military forces other than those present under the authority of international agreements.
-And there must be security for all Cypriots; the needs and wishes of the refugees who have been the principal victims and whose tragic plight touches us all must be dealt with speedily and with compassion.
These goals match the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the Cypriot people as well as the interests of all neighboring states.
For the full text of Secretary Kissinger's address, see Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1894, Oct. 13, 1975, pp. 545–553. P.L. 94—104, approved by President Ford on Oct. 6, 1975, added a new subsection 620(x)(2) to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (89 Stat. 508; 22 U.S.C. 2370) calling on the President to submit to Congress every 60 days a report on progress made toward conclusion of a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus conflict. The President submitted the first such report on Dec. 8, 1975. Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 11, No. 50, Dec. 15, 1975, pp. 1361-1362; Cong. Rec., Vol. 121, No. 180, pp. S. 21325–21326 (daily ed.).
On November 20, 1975, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 3395 (XXX) on the question of Cyprus by a vote of 117 to 1 (Turkey) with 9 abstentions (U.S.). Ambassador Albert W. Sherer, Jr., U.S. Representative in Plenary, made the following explanation of vote:
The United States greatly regrets that the Assembly was unable to write a resolution on Cyprus acceptable to all the parties concerned. We believe that such a resolution would have provided an appropriate basis for the negotiation of a Cyprus settlement. Since no resolution was acceptable to all of the parties, we abstained on draft resolution A/L. 775. However, we note that the resolution adopted today refers to General Assembly Resolution 3212. Under that resolution, and under Security Council Resolutions 370 and 367, the Secretary-General retains a clear mandate from both bodies to continue his mission of good offices to the parties, and particularly to encourage them to proceed with the intercommunal talks. We sincerely hope and urge—that the representatives of the two communities will cooperate fully and effectively with the Secretary-General in achieving progress toward a just settlement of the Cyprus issue. Such a settlement has been asked for by the United Nations, is ardently desired by the American people, and has been awaited all too long by the people of Cyprus.
Press Release USUN-155(75), Nov. 20, 1975. Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1907, Jan. 12, 1976, p. 64. The text of Resolution 3395(XXX) of Nov. 20, 1975 follows:
The General Assembly,
Having heard the statements in the debate and taking note of the report of the Special Political Committee,
Noting with concern that four rounds of talks between the representatives of the two communities in pursuance of Security Council Resolution 367 (1975) of March 12, 1975, have not yet led to a mutually acceptable settlement,
Deeply concerned at the continuation of the crisis in Cyprus,
Mindful of the need to solve the Cyprus crisis without further delay by peaceful means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations,
1. Reaffirms the urgent need for continued efforts for the effective implementation in all its parts of General Assembly Resolution 3212 (XXIX) of November 1, 1974, endorsed by the Security Council in its Resolution 365 (1974) of December 13, 1974, and, to that end;
2. Calls once again upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and nonalignment of the Republic of Cyprus and to refrain from all acts and interventions directed against it;
3. Demands the withdrawal without further delay of all foreign armed forces and foreign military presence and personnel from the Republic of Cyprus, and the cessation of all foreign interference in its affairs;
4. Calls upon the parties concerned to undertake urgent measures to facilitate the voluntary return of all refugees to their homes in safety and to settle all other aspects of the refugee problem;
5. Calls for the immediate resumption in a meaningful and constructive