WASHINGTON (Jun. 17)
Mark Ethridge, retiring American representative on the United Nations Conciliation Commission, said today that it might not be a bad idea to recess the Lausanne peace talks so that the Israeli delegation can go home for new instructions, It’s a real stalemate now,” he stated, “they are running around in circles and are not “getting any closer to each other.”
At a press conference, he suggested that if the Lausanne talks were recessed and if Israel came up with new proposals a solution may be reached in time for the Commission to report to the General Assembly in September. Asked about the meeting of Israeli U.N, delegate Aubrey S. Eban with Acting Secretary of State James E. Webb today, Ethridge said, 1 hope Eban rushed out and advised the Israeli Government to come up with new proposals,” He declared that he foresaw only a tortuous way out if Israel does not alter its present stand. If Israel does “change,” he said, he was relatively sure that peace could be achieved.
Ethridge disclosed that he has given Israel a figure on the number of Arab refugees it should repatriate. He said this figure was not as large as the number of Arabs Israel would agree to take if she got the Gaza coastal strip. Amplifying, his statement further, he said he was not even sure if the State Department would accept the .figure. He insisted that as far as he knew the United States has never officially given Israel a binding figure on the number of Arab refugees, Mr. Ethridge asserted that Israel could break the Lausanne deadlock if it would state the member of refugees it is willing to take.