In Jerusalem Labour party member and former Foreign Minister Abba Eban criticised European support for self-determination of the Palestinians.
CU Israeli Labour party member Abba Eban talking to newsmen in English
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: "Mr. Eban, just how serious is the deterioration in relations between West Europe and Israel at this time?"
EBAN: "It is not a question of deterioration of relations. We have a very severe criticism of their international conduct. They've done the wrong thing in the wrong way and at the wrong time. They are thereby prejudicing the peace process which has already yielded one peace treaty, the continuation of which might well lead to other agreements and I'm at a loss to understand how they justify this strident, constant, disruptive intervention at a time when important international negotiations are afoot -- negotiation which ought to have inspired a decent reticence. The only answer is they are preferring their own particular interests tot he general international welfare. The fact is that the first statement was in Kuwait by President Giscard d'Estaing. Now Kuwait isn't a natural place in which to uphold the principles of self-determination. The only person in Kuwait who determines himself is the Sheikh of Kuwait. We must therefore ask ourselves what was in it by the fact that these statements came in Kuwait, in Bahrain, in Oman, in Saudi Arabia. The answer must surely be connected with those oil resources which are much more a prominent feature of life in those countries than the principles of Wilsonian self-determination."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Jerusalem Labour party member and former Foreign Minister Abba Eban criticised European support for self-determination of the Palestinians. Mr. Eban said on Wednesday (19 March) that recent statements to this effect by European leaders, in particular by French President Giscard d'Estaing in Kuwait, were poorly timed and risked putting the peace negotiations in jeopardy. Our reporter interviewed Mr. Eban.