HC Deb 30 January 1974 vol 868 cc417-9
4. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has advanced as Her Majesty's Government's contribution to the work of the Geneva peace conference.

5. Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on the progress of the Geneva Middle East peace negotiations.

Lord Balniel

I refer to the statement my right hon. Friend made on 21st January about the latest developments in the Middle East. Our discussions with other Governments about the way ahead must remain confidential.—[Vol. 867, c. 1202–4.]

Mr. Mayhew

What plans will the Government put forward as a member of the Security Council about the strength and disposition of a United National peacekeeping force on the Israeli frontiers?

Lord Balniel

We have been assiduously kept informed by the United States Government on their discussions and their efforts, and they have continuously asked us for our comments. The best way for progress is that the tactical approach should remain confidential, but our policy, of course, remains firmly based on Security Council Resolution No. 242.

Mr. Dykes

Since there is at least the germ of an understanding of some sort between Egypt and Israel, and as Israel has now made very useful and constructive concessions, which were overdue, to try to get a more fundamental agreement going, what pressure will my noble Friend put on Syria to make concomitant concessions at the other end of the area so that a realistic settlement may finally be negotiated without Israel having to make too many concessions before the other side does?

Lord Balniel

It would be logical that, following the disengagement between the Egyptian and Israeli forces, attention should increasingly be turned to the proximity of the Israeli and Syrian forces. How this is approached tactically should be left to those who are initiating the discussions, but this is clearly a matter which must be considered very soon.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

Does not the Minister agree that the United Kingdom has considerable experience of this kind of peace-keeping operation, the kind of operation which will take over from the existing United Nations presence on the spot, and have we not worked out to a considerable extent the models for such an operation, based on our experience in Cyprus and other parts of the world? Will the noble Lord undertake that all our information and experience is made available to the United Nations or, in this case, direct to the United States?

Lord Balniel

I confirm that considerable work has been done by the British Government on preparing proposals for guaranteeing the just and lasting settlement which we all want to see achieved. Our proposals have been made available to the Governments concerned.

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