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    The Soviet Foreign Minister, Mr. Andrei Gromyko, has told the United Nations General Assembly that?

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    The Soviet Foreign Minister, Mr. Andrei Gromyko, has told the United Nations General Assembly that of all the flashpoints in the world, the Middle East was still the dangerous. In a wide ranging speech to the U.N. on Tuesday (27 September), Mr. Gromyko said the Soviet Union would do everything it could to bring about a peace settlement in the Middle East.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Gromyko has already has discussions with American officials on a Middle East peace settlement, and more talks may follow his United Nations speech. The Soviet Foreign Minister told delegates at the General Assembly that serious apprehensions were aroused by the words and deeds of the Israeli leadership. He said the Soviet Union wanted a settlement in the Middle East which would establish a durable peace there, without infringing on the legitimate rights and interests of any people or any state in the region, and he would go on working towards that end.

    Mr. Gromyko reaffirmed the Soviet view that Israel had the right to exist as an independent state. But he stressed that all occupied territories had to be unconditionally returned.

    Mr. Gromyko hoped for an early reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference, with the Palestine Liberation Organisation participating on an equal footing. And during his speech, which covered a number of subjects, Mr. Gromyko called on the United Nations to ban production plans for the neutron bomb and other new weapons of mass destruction. He said that the policy of detente must not be allowed to mark time. We stand, he went on, for the improvement of relations with the United States, for cooperation in the interests of our peoples.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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