Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban arrived for the Geneva Peace Conference Thursday (20 December), saying he seeks "peace with honour" in the Middle East.
Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban arrived for the Geneva Peace Conference Thursday (20 December), saying he seeks "peace with honour" in the Middle East. The conference formally opens in the Swiss capital on Friday (21 December), but behind the scenes talks are already underway.
Mr. Eban's arrival followed that earlier Thursday of U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, who will preside over the opening phase of the talks.
Police with sub-machine guns and Israeli bodyguards surrounded Mr. Eban's Jet and two jeeps, each carrying four armed soldiers flanked his car when ha??? drove into Geneva.
During his brief airport statement, the Israeli Foreign Minister said he was prepared to offer Israel's Arab neighbours "peace with honour" -- the phrase used by President Nixon as he sought withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam. "All the conditions of peaceful coexistence including the establishment of peace boundaries should be approached in a spirit of flexible compromise," he said.
Mr. Waldheim, who arrived from New York, also made a brief statement at the airport. He called the five-nation conference "a turning point in efforts to find a solution to the Middle East problem.
The other major participants in the conference -- Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Jordan's Abdel Moneim Rifai -- hove now all arrived in Geneva for the start of the conference on Friday.