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U.N. Trusteeship Council Discusses French Resolution on Israel’s Move in Jerusalem

A resolution voicing concern over Israel’s announced intentions to consider Jerusalem its capital and calling attention to the “very grave consequences” of implementing such a move was introduced in the U.N. Trusteeship Council today by Henri Laurantie of France.

The closed session of the Council, which inaugurated its discussion on a statute for the internationalization of Jerusalem, postponed debate and a vote on the French proposal until its second meeting tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, the Council, sitting as a committee of the whole, decided to continue its special meetings here until December 23 and then reconvene in regular session on January 16 in Geneva.

In a preliminary exchange of views at today’s closed meeting whose proceedings were later made public, France suggested that the Council should not drift too far from its 1948 statute on Jerusalem which it never completed and that this should be used as a basis for a new statute, so the very rigid political system of the former draft should be softened.

Considerable discussion arose over a Mexican suggestion that the Council should “negotiate” with the parties involved in Jerusalem before work on the statute details began. Iraq challenged the wisdom of such a procedure, branded the transfer of Israel Government offices to Jerusalem as “illegal aggression” and suggested that the United Nations could apply moral and economic sanctions against Israel.

France and Belgium also opposed the Mexican idea, but agreed to the decision of the Council chairman Ambassador Roger Garrau of France that the parties be heard when it becomes necessary without participating in debate.

(The New York Times today reported from Rome that Vatican officials have expressed concern over what they call “Israel’s defiant attitude” in regard to the establishment of an international regime in Jerusalem. The same officials also expressed hope that the United States will attempt “to persuade those nations which have manifested their opposition” to the U.N. internationalization resolution “to desist from their attitude.”)

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