Senator Foreign Relations Committee Chairman William Fulbright on Sunday ( 23 August ) defended and amplified on American television his own plans for Middle East Peace -- which involves a formal United States-Israel treaty, and the positioning of the United Nations troops to guarantee Israel's security if she withdraws from all occupied Arab territories.
GV Washington D.C. Capitol Building (2 shots)
SCU Fulbright speaks
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 2: FULBRIGHT: "Well it's the responsibility and obligation of the Security Council to deal with the treats to the peace. I don't know how anyone could deny the circumstances in the Middle East are a threat to the peace. It seems to me this is simply revitalising the United Nations if they should do it. They should have done it in other cases, you are right. They have failed to do it in major conflicts involving the major powers but in this case I believe the major powers have an identity of interests and I should very much like to see a precedent set."
QUESTIONER: "The settlement imposed by the Security Council would involved obviously the co-operation of the Soviet Union.
FULBRIGHT: "It would."
QUESTIONER: "Why do you think the Soviet would be willing to co-operate in achieving a permanent solution in the Middle East?".
FULBRIGHT: "I think this is to either interests, as it is to our interests, and in addition to that there are other things which they are doing today which lead me to believe they may be more inclined to seek a settlement than at any other time since the World War Two -- I speak of the SALT talks, their changed attitude to Germany. I think all these indicate a relaxed attitude on the part of the Russians and there are good reasons for that. Their intrusion into the Mediterranean, into the Middle East, which is already accomplished -- all of these circumstances led me to believe there is a chance that they may agree in this instance that the Security Council should play the role which it is designed to play."
QUESTIONER: "Do you regard the Russian military presence in the Middle East, U.A.R., as a strategic threat to the United States?".
FULBRIGHT: "Not directly to the United States. These are implications which grow out of our relationship with Israel which create a threat to the peace generally but not directly to the United States. But I would not have made the proposal did I not think it was serious enough to take note of it. Obviously I think it is a threat to the peace. If it is, it would involve us, therefore that's the reason why I made the proposal not only in the interests of Israel and the Arab but also in the interests of the United States. I think it is very much in the interests of the United States to bring about a settlement in the Middle East."
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Background: Senator Foreign Relations Committee Chairman William Fulbright on Sunday ( 23 August ) defended and amplified on American television his own plans for Middle East Peace -- which involves a formal United States-Israel treaty, and the positioning of the United Nations troops to guarantee Israel's security if she withdraws from all occupied Arab territories.
In Senator Fulbright's first major statement on the Middle East on Saturday, he suggested that U,N. forces be posted along strategic sectors of Israel's 1967 border and at Sharm El Sheik, with the agreement that they could not be withdrawn without Israeli and Arab consent.
The Arkansas Democrat proposed that a final step in implementing firm and specific U.N. guarantees for Israel's security, the United Sates sign a bilateral treaty promising to use force if necessary to protect Israel within its 1967 borders. The treaty would also require Israel to pledge it would not violate the borders.
He said he would support Senate ratification of such a treaty to overcome Israel's lack of faith in the United Nations.
Senator noted that at present the United States did not have any formal commitment to go to Israel's aid, although he thought that even without a treaty "The United States would act to save Israel from destruction". On Monday (August 24), the authoritative Cairo newspaper, in a editorial on Senator Fulbright's peace plan, praised him as "one of the few American statesmen who are genuinely working for peace.
In his amplifying remarks on the plan, Senator Fulbright on Sunday (23 August) discussed the role of the United Nations and the attitude of the Soviet Union to it.