72. Editorial Note

The Four Powers resumed their discussions in New York on December 2, 1969. At the first meeting, the four UN Permanent Representatives issued a communiqué announcing the resumption of the talks. (Department of State Bulletin, December 29, 1969, page 630) Ambassadors Charles Yost, Yakov Malik, and Lord Caradon agreed on the urgency of providing recommendations to UN Special Representative Gunnar Jarring, while Ambassador Armand Bérard hoped that the U.S.-Soviet talks would produce an Israeli-UAR agreement for the group’s review. Both Bérard and Malik expressed concern over increasing hostilities in the Middle East, with Malik blaming Israel for the region’s instability. (Telegram 4391 from USUN, December 3; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR) Malik tabled draft language on the issues of Israeli withdrawal, boundaries, and demilitarized zones, all of which were drawn from the Soviet counterproposal presented to the United States on June 17 (see Document 34).

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At the end of the meeting, Yost responded to Malik’s argument that the Four Powers should strive to achieve a comprehensive agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors rather than consider one country at a time by saying that Dobrynin, in his conversations with Sisco, had never objected to discussing the United Arab Republic separately. Caradon and Bérard agreed with Yost that without a Soviet response to the October 28 proposal from the United States (Document 58) the Four should begin discussing the outlines of an Israel-Jordan settlement at the next meeting. (Telegram 4390 from USUN, December 3; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR)

At the December 6 session, Bérard, Caradon, and especially Yost again pressured Malik for an early Soviet reply to the U.S. proposal on a settlement between Israel and the UAR. Meanwhile, Bérard said that he expected to present concrete proposals for an Israel-Jordan agreement at the next meeting, which would occur on December 9. (Telegram 4460 from USUN, December 6; ibid.)