U.S. Middle East Diplomats Summoned to Washington for Consultations on Economic Survey
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U.S. Middle East Diplomats Summoned to Washington for Consultations on Economic Survey

American diplomatic representatives stationed in the Middle East have been summoned to Washington to participate in consultations with Gordon R. Clapp, newly-named chairman of the U.N. Conciliation Commission-sponsored economic survey group, to which President Truman pledged the support of the U.S. Government.

Paul A. Porter, American member of the Conciliation Commission, will leave Lausanne Tuesday. The gathering of envoys in Washington is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Although technically the new survey group will be subordinate to the Commission, it is intended, according to U.N. sources, that it shall become the chief executive agency in settling the Middle East problem. It will express its own views with the joint authority of the U.N. and the United States behind it. It will not wait for proposals from either the Arabs or the Israelis.

This state of affairs — waiting on Israel and the four Arab states of Transjordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon — has been the chief factor in delaying the Lausanne peace talks, which entered the fifth month yesterday.

The Conciliation Commission itself will go into storage for another month. The Lausanne talks as such will be abandoned by Sept. 15. The Commission secretariat will then go to Jerusalem and will reconvene in Lake Success about Oct. 15 to hear the report of the economic survey which will then be passed on to the U.N. General Assembly.

There is considerable skepticism here both among the Commission members and among the Arab and Israel delegates, who have been engaged in negotiations for four months. They are doubtful whether this ambitious schedule of the survey group can be maintained, particularly if the group also includes experts from Eastern Europe. This question has still to be decided.

The Israelis would prefer to see the survey prolonged and no decision forced on this year’s General Assembly. They still believe that with patience and negotiations they can reach an agreement with the Arabs.

The United States view conveyed to the Commission — which it is frankly admitted is partly colored by the advice of the joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington — is that haste is necessary and a decision desirable at the September session of the Assembly. The Arabs also take this position.

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