U.S. Favors Internationalization of Jerusalem, Secretary Acheson Tells U.N. Assembly
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U.S. Favors Internationalization of Jerusalem, Secretary Acheson Tells U.N. Assembly

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The policy of the U.S. Government on the status of Jerusalem was outlined here today at the U.N. General Assembly by Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

“In the view of the U.S. Government, the Assembly should adopt a practical plan for a permanent international regime in the Jerusalem area and for the protection of, and free access to, the Holy Places,” he said, addressing the Assembly. He expressed the hope that “the General Assembly will be able to act successfully upon the report of the Palestine Conciliation Commission in respect to Jerusalem.”

Expressing satisfaction that “active hostilities” in Palestine have ended with armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab states, Mr. Acheson said he was hopeful that progress will be made in moving beyond the armistice stage to that of a real and permanent peace. “Eventual agreement between the parties,” he stated, “is essential for the political and economic stability of the area.”

The Secretary of State praised the efforts of Dr. Ralph Bunche, acting U.N. mediator on Palestine, in behalf of the successful conclusion of armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab states. The report of the Conciliation Commission, including the recommendations of the economic survey mission, to come before this Assembly, should help, he said, provide machinery for reaching a real permanent peace in Palestine. “The United States stands ready to give its full support and assistance to this effort,” he declared.

Describing the plight of Palestinian refugees as “a pressing humanitarian problem,” Mr. Acheson also told the delegates it was “of the highest importance” that the General Assembly should make the necessary provision for the maintenance of these refugees.


An indication of a conciliatory Arab mood at the Assembly was seen in the fact that Faris el Khoury, Syrian delegate, speaking this morning during the general debate on the world situation, conspiciously omitted all reference to the Palestine situation. Aubrey Eban, head of the Israel delegation, may not speak during the general debate unless the Arab delegates raise the Palestine issue.

Although no official comment was forthcoming from the Israel delegation in response to Secretary Acheson’s remarks, Israel circles reacted favorably to the speech. They gave special weight to Mr. Acheson’s reference to a “practical” plan of internationalization of the city, which they assumed to mean a workable scheme and one agreed to by all parties.

It was pointed out, in these circles, that Israel has already come out in favor of an international control limited to supervision of the Holy Places, and it was noted that Secretary Acheson, too, emphasized this aspect of the internationalization problem. As a consequence of this interpretation of Mr. Acheson’s policy statement hope was expressed that the positions of the United States and Israel may not be too far apart.

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