MOSCOW: The Soviet Union yesterday [Oct 8] ac­­cused the United States and Israel of being res­ponsible for the inability of UN Middle East me­di­a­­­tor Gunnar Jarring to carry out his peace mission.

In a statement ... the Soviet Foreign Ministry said a slander campaign against the Soviet Union had been launched by the American press “on obvious incitation from official circles”. …

The statement mentioned among the “slanderous” US allegations the “false rumours” that ground-to-air missiles manned by Soviet crews had appeared in the Suez Canal zone. This “fabrication” had been put into circulation to create an excuse for the wrecking of the Jarring talks by Israel, the statement said.

It accused Israel and the US of having violated the Suez Canal cease-fire, declaring that Israeli troops inside the 50-kilometre standstill zone on the Canal were “continuously building fortifications, laying communications, and carrying out other work, using machinery and motor transport”. …

In contrast, the statement said, the Soviet Union was as before “firmly in favour of a political settlement of the Middle East conflict on the basis of the implementation of the Security Council resolution (of November 1967) in all its aspects”.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2020