JERUSALEM (Mar. 23)
Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the British Foreign Secretary, said here last night that the Middle East crisis could be resolved peacefully through a dialogue between the conflicting parties and reiterated his view that Israel’s right to security was central to the “stubborn Middle East problem,” Sir Alec spoke at an official dinner tendered him at the Knesset shortly before departing for Britain.
The British diplomat said he hoped an effective dialogue could begin soon. “We think that protection and assurance ought to be promised through the conclusion of peace agreements, through the definition in these peace agreements of permanent and secure frontiers and through the achievement of arrangements on the ground designed to remove particular points of fear and to build up confidence between neighbors,” he said.
He described the Middle East conflict as one in which “Israel is seeking security and her Arab neighbors are seeking restoration of territory. One of the major obstacles to the achievement of a settlement is that although there is a link, security and territory are different in nature. What is clear in this situation is that territorial change is not the only way to ensure physical security.”
Sir Alec said he was “still convinced that Egypt’s intention and desire was above all to live in peace with Israel.” He assured his hosts that when Britain enters the European Common Market its trade with other countries would not be damaged. Sir Alec said that Britain’s membership in the EEC would benefit Israel in the long run because the growth of the British economy would enable Britain to buy more goods in Israel.