JERUSALEM (Dec. 20)
Col. L.M. Carlsen, chief United Nations observer here, returned to the city today after a visit to Amman where he discussed with King Abdullah an Israeli proposal that negotiations be started immediately for an armistice and, later, a final peace settlement. It is reported here that at the next meeting between the Israeli and Arab Legion commanders in Jerusalem the Transjordan commander will be able to announce his monarch’s formal reply to the negotiations offer, made last week.
It is understood that Carlsen made a detailed report of his talk with Abdullah and forwarded it to the United Nations Secretariat and acting mediator Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, as well as to the members of the consular truce commission here. One member of the commission, American acting consul general William Burdett, is presently on a tour of Amman and Beirut.
Unofficially it was Learned here today that King Abdullah told Carlsen that he opposes the internationalization of Jerusalem and prefers that the city be partitioned between Israel and Transjordan. When Carlsen reportedly told Abdullah that in opposing internationalization of the city he was on the opposite side of the fence from Britain, the monarch is alleged to have replied that he had been advised otherwise. To Carlsen’s arguments that Jews and Christians throughout the world opposed the idea of partitioning Jerusalem, Abdullah replied that it was the only solution.
Meanwhile, reports here assert that Transjordan is facing a political crisis, with the Cabinet having resigned in protest Abdullah’s readiness to negotiate with the Israelis. The heir apparent is said to be under house arrest for opposing Abdullah’s desire to negotiate.
BRITISH TROOPS REACH AQABA AREA IN TRANSJORDAN, U.N. OBSERVERS REPORT
An Israeli spokesman today revealed that there had been two British warships on the Gulf of Aqaba this month, showing a “certain British interest in this part of the world.” He was commenting on a report in the Hebrew press yesterday, which quoted unnamed U.N. observers as stating that British troops have reached the Aqaba area. The spokesman also expressed his government’s impatience at Egypt’s continued delay in implementing the U.N. Security Council’s instructions to begin armistice talks.
Forty American truce observers are scheduled to leave Jerusalem shortly in line with the liquidation of the mediator’s staff in Palestine. preparations for the reception of the Conciliation Commission, set up by the recent General Assembly session in Paris, have already begun, despite the fact that it is not yet known whether the members of the three-nation body will set up their headquarters in the Old City or the former Government House, in the demilitarized section of the new city.
Cardinal Spellman’s personal representative, Thomas McMahon, arrived here yesterday. He visited Catholic churches and monasteries in the Jewish sectors and today crossed the from lines to the Old City.