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Last Minute News Egypt and Israel Agree to Initiate Direct Negotiations for Armistice on All Fronts

Egypt and Israel have agreed to negotiate an armistice affecting all fronts where their forces are engaged, Acting Mediator Ralph ###. Bunche announced here today. Direct talks between the two governments are to be maugurated “at the earliest possible moment” following a cease-fire in the Negev which was scheduled to take effect at 7 A.M. Friday, New York time.

Regarded here as the most concrete stop toward peace that has been taken to late, the information was relayed to Lake Success by the mediator’s representatives ###n Cairo and Tel Aviv. A U.N. spokesman announced that the agreement called for “immediate direct negotiations” under U.N. chairmanship, though Dr. Bunche had received ###o information about the time and place at which the Egyptian and Israeli representatives are to meet.

The agreement arose out of an Egyptian bid for negotiations with Israel, Dr. Bunche disclosed, directed toward implementing two Security Council resolutions adopted in Paris last November 4 and 16, which have been null and void thus far. The former resolution called for a cease-fire in the Negev and the withdrawal of all forces to the positions they occupied on October 14. The second Council decision summoned the two parties to negotiate an armistice either directly or through a United, Nations intermediary.

Commenting on this important development, Dr. Bunche declared: “I am greatly encouraged by this development and earnestly hope that the negotiations contemplated will lead to permanent peace in the area.” Other U.N. officials expressed confidence that this might be the turning point in Palestine and that armistice negotiations, if they started well, might eventually be broadened to include the other warring Arab states as well as Egypt.

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