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Peres Offers to End Jordan War Status : Israel Chief Unilaterally Terminates It, Says He Would Go to Amman for Talks

October 22, 1985|DON SHANNON | Times Staff Writer

UNITED NATIONS — Prime Minister Shimon Peres of Israel, pushing for direct negotiations with Jordan, on Monday unilaterally declared an immediate end to the state of war that has existed between the neighboring states since 1967.

Peres, addressing the 40th anniversary session of the U.N. General Assembly, also said that a settlement between Israel and Jordan would serve to resolve the Palestinian question and open the way to regional peace.

"I hereby proclaim: The state of war between Israel and Jordan should be terminated immediately," Peres said. "Israel declares this readily in the hope that (Jordan's) King Hussein is willing to reciprocate."

Most Arab delegations, including Jordan's, walked out when Peres took the podium, their customary reaction when Israeli leaders speak. The delegation from Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, remained in the hall.

Sadat's Example

Urging all Arabs to follow the lead of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who broke a 30-year deadlock to travel to Jerusalem in 1977 and negotiate with his former enemies, Peres offered to go to Jordan or any other mutually agreed location for talks.

"Let us argue, not fight," the Israeli leader said. "Let us arm ourselves with reason. Let us not reason with arms."

Peres said he is willing to meet with a Jordanian delegation or a combined Jordanian-Palestinian delegation as long as the Palestinians "represent peace, not terror"--a condition designed to rule out the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Peres was one of 20 speakers to address the General Assembly as it continued its two-week anniversary celebration. In other speeches:

--President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua said he will not lift the emergency decree imposed last week and restore full civil rights to his country's citizens until the United States ends "state terrorism" against Nicaragua and drops its support for the contras, the guerrillas fighting his Marxist-oriented government.

Nicaraguan sources said that Ortega has requested a meeting with President Reagan on Thursday, when the President is scheduled to address the General Assembly. But in Washington, White House spokesman Mark Weinberg said that "as far as I know, no meeting with Ortega is on the President's schedule."

"Nicaragua is no enemy of the United States," Ortega said. "Nothing in our revolutionary project is incompatible with normal and friendly relations with the United States."

--Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald pledged to the pro-British Protestant majority in Northern Ireland that his Irish Republic has "no desire to seek any relationship that does not fully respect their identity, their ethos and their way of life." Ireland and Britain are nearing agreement on a formula for ending 16 years of violence in Northern Ireland, one that would reportedly give the Irish Republic a formal role in the north.

--Lebanese President Amin Gemayel asked the United Nations to enforce its resolutions calling for full Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Israel withdrew most of its troops from Lebanon in phases ending in June, after occupying parts of its northern neighbor for three years. But it left behind a military contingent to help patrol a so-called "security zone" on Lebanon's southern frontier.

Conference Framework

The Israeli prime minister seemed to be responding to a speech Hussein delivered here Sept. 27, in which the Jordanian monarch declared his readiness to negotiate "promptly and directly" with Israel within the framework of an international peace conference.

But there were substantial differences between the approach outlined by Peres and Hussein's call for a conference that would include all parties to the Middle East conflict and the five permanent members of the Security Council--the United States, Britain, China, France and the Soviet Union.

Peres said the permanent members of the Security Council could "support the initiation" of negotiations, but he said Israel would prefer that those having no diplomatic relations with Israel be excluded--which would eliminate the Soviet Union and China. And he said that while the process might begin with an international conference, actual peace talks would be "conducted directly, between states."

Working teams should decide on the agenda and procedures for such a conference within 30 days, he said.

"Let us put this process into motion," Peres said. "Let us shield this flickering hope from threatening winds. Let us not consign this moment of hope to the fate of missed opportunities."

Bearers of Tragedy

He restated his government's opposition to PLO participation in peace talks, adding, "Nobody brought more tragedy on the Palestinians than PLO terrorism."

At the close of his speech, Peres reminded Arabs that they and the Jews are described as one people in the Bible.

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