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Last Minute News Israel and Egypt Sing Cease-fire Agreement; Are Stalemated on Armistice Negotiation

Acting mediator Ralph J. Bunche notified the United Nations today that a formal cease-fire agreement was concluded at Rhodes between the Egyptian and Israeli delegations before they returned to their respective capitals for government consultations on the stalemated armistice negotiations. (See pegs 3 for additional information.)

The agreement confirms a previous decision that a general cease-fire should go into effect on all fronts and describes the new accord as “a complete and enduring cease-fire between all elements of our military or paramilitary forces on land, sea and in the air wherever located.”

The agreement laid down the principle that no element of Israel’s or Egypt’s ground or air forces shall advance beyond the present battle lines and bars naval forces from entering into waters off the coastline now held by the other party. Both sides agreed to facilitate complete supervision of the truce “by U.N. observers. The agreement, concluded yesterday, was signed for Israel by Walter Eytan, of the Foreign Ministry, and Col. Yigal Yadin, Army Chief of Operations.

Dr. Bunche admitted that “severe divergencies in viewpoint have been encountered during the past few days.” The negotiations are continuing, however, and it is still hoped that agreement can be reached, he reported.