British foreign Secretary Lord Carrington sees the Arab-israeli conflict developing into a "very dangerous" situation unless the Palestinian question is resolved.
A European peace initiative aimed at facilitating a solution to the question, the Foreign Secretary indicated, would be required before the end of the year.
Lord carrington, here for meetings with President Carter and other US officials, does not think an agreement on "autonomy" between Egypt and Israel is going to resolve the question.
But the Foreign Secretary does not think the United States, in this election year, is in any position to undertake a new Middle East peace initiative.
The Western Europeans, therefore, must help push toward a solution and propose an initiative of their own, Lord Carrington said in a breakfast meeting with reporters May 6.
Such a European initiative, he said, has not yet been worked out. But, as he sees it, it would not undercut US efforts.It would instead "supplement" United Nations Resolution 242, which, in effect, calls for Israeli withdrawal from Israeli-occupied Arab territories in return for recognition of Israel's right to live in a peace within secure and recognized borders.
Lord Carrington made clear that he thinks the three main crises in the Middle East -- the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iranian turmoil, and the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan -- cannot be viewed in isolation from each other and that the Arab-Israeli conflict tends to exacerbate other tensions.
Some American Middle East analysts would agree. They think further that the re cent seizure of the Iranian Embassy in London is but one more manifestation of regional tensions and may have had support or encouragement from Iraq, a traditional foe of Iran.
According to Judith Kippur, a Middle East analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, a just solution of the Palestinian problem would constitute a "vital first step" toward resolving a number of such regional tensions. To begin with, it would reflect an American appreciation of nationalist sentiment and rising expectations in the region. It would thereby allow Arab nations to assert their true positions and perhaps move into a new and more stable relationship with the United States that would be of greater benefit to the vital interests of both sides.