HC Deb 18 November 1968 vol 773 cc877-9
10. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the latest position regarding the Middle East.

35. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is still the policy of Her Majesty's Government to support the mission of Dr. Gunnar Jarring to the Middle East; and when it is estimated that Dr. Jarring will formally report to the Security Council.

54. Mr. Will Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been achieved in implementing the resolution on the Middle East passed by the Security Council last November.

Mr. M. Stewart

Since I spoke on 31st October in the debate on the Address, the Foreign Ministers of Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Republic have returned to their capitals from New York. Each has expressed his readiness to continue discussions with Dr. Jarring, and it is our hope and expectation that the exchanges begun in New York will be resumed either there or elsewhere.

Meanwhile Her Majesty's Government continue to give Dr. Jarring their full support. It is for him to decide when to submit his formal report.

Mr. Judd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Government will have widespread support in their continued attempts to bring home to all the parties in this tragic situation their responsibilities for ensuring the success of the resolution of November last year?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, Sir. I am obliged to my hon. Friend. It has been our endeavour ever since we sponsored the resolution to draw the attention of all parties to actions they can take which would help Dr. Jarring in his work.

Mr. Hooley

I support all the efforts Dr. Jarring is making, but is it not a fact that the military situation is steadily deteriorating day by day and that we cannot allow it to drift on month after month without further diplomatic initiatives in the Security Council or elsewhere?

Mr. Stewart

I realise that Dr. Jarring has not been able to make more than very disappointing progress so far. My noble Friend, Lord Caradon, is in close touch with him and his colleagues, the representatives of the permanent members of the Security Council, as to ways in which Dr. Jarring might be assisted in his mission.

Mr. Griffiths

Have Jordan, the U.A.R. and Israel signified their acceptance in principle of the Security Council resolution of last November?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, Sir. There is a general acceptance in principle. The problem now is what actions are needed in order to see that the whole of the resolution is put into effect.

Mr. Moonman

Will my right hon. Friend keep a close watch on the deteriorating situation because of the increasing build-up of equipment on the Arab side coming from Russia? Some reassurance on this point for Israel's future is also relevant.

Mr. Stewart

This is a consideration that is not only very much in our minds but in the minds of everyone concerned with the problem. I repeat what I said in the debate on the Address, that it is not possible for those not immediately concerned to solve the matter without effective help from the parties that are immediately concerned in the dispute.