RHODES (Mar. 27)
The lull in the Israeli-Trans Jordan armistice negotiations here has not yet been broken and the Joint military subcommittee set up to find a formula for reduction of armed forces on both sides is still working on details of the problems involved in such action, it was reported here today.
(In Tel Aviv it was reliably learned today that the major obstacles delaying the successful conclusion of the Rhodes talks has been overcome, with the Israelis agreeing to allow Trans Jordan’s a negotiators to represent Iraq as well as the Amman government. Optimism over the possibility of an early signing of the Israeli-Trans Jordan armistice pact is increasing in Tel Aviv, a dispatch from the Israeli capital reported.)
Although the Trans Jordan representatives admit that they cannot compel the British to leave Aqaba or reduce their forces to equalize those of the Jews–which has been the crux of the talks between the Tel Aviv and Amman envoys for the past few days-Reuven Shiloah, of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that “we hope, with a little patience, that the divergencies will be ironed out, since the Trans Jordanians see our viewpoint and after the problem of reduction of armed forces is solved, the rest will be easier.”
BUNCHE REPORTEDLY ASKED LIE TO INTERVENE WITH BRITISH
Earlier, it was reported that a Trans Jordan delegate will fly today to Amman to consult with his government and British representatives on the problem of reducing the military forces. This decision was taken following meetings of the subcommittee late last night and this morning. It was reported that the position of the Transjordan delegates has been that the British troops in the disputed areas cannot be count ed, while the Jews maintain that either the Arab forces-including the British units–be reduced to the same strength as the Israelis’ or else the Jews will grease their military strength to the combined level of both the Trans Jordan and British troops.
It was learned here last night that acting U. N. Palestine mediator Dr. Ralph J. Bunche–who is confined to bed with a stomach ailment–had asked U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie for his advice in finding a formula which would prove satisfactory to both negotiators in the question of reducing the parties’ armed force. Bunche was also reported to have suggested to Lie that as an alternative he try to influence the British to consent to be at brigade strength.
Meanwhile, Radio Beirut broadcast a report today that the forthcoming Israel Transjordan agreement provides for the Jewish state’s acceptance of the presence of Amman troops in the Arab triangle in central Palestine, while Trans Jordan, in turn, will allow the Tel Aviv-Haifa railway to be opened.
(Reuters reported in a Beirut dispatch that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine is planning to call a round-table Palestine peace parley in Geneva. The Commission was also reported to be attempting to have Syrian representative attending its meeting in the Lebanese capital consider a plan for resettling the Palestine Arab refugees outside Israel.)