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Fifth Regular Session of United Nations General Assembly Opens at Flushing Meadow

The fifth regular session of the United Nations General Assembly was opened here today at 3:15 p.m., by Carlos Romulo, president.

The Assembly session was bogged down almost immediately after the opening when, as the first order of business, the Indian delegation proposed the seating of Communist China. Several other resolutions were subsequently offered, including a Canadian proposal to appoint a committee to study the issue and report back at a later date. Although Israel has recognized the Peking regime, its attitude toward the various resolutions on the floor had not been clarified as the session drew to a close.

Neither Israel as a state nor its U.N. representative as an individual is a candidate in the elections for U.N. office which will highlight the first week’s business. In the contest for the office of President of the Assembly–between Mohamed Zafrullah Khan, of Pakistan, and Nasrollah Entezem, of Iran–the Israel delegation is expected to favor the latter. The delegation from the Jewish state is headed by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and chief U.N. delegate Ambassador Abba Eban.

The major issues of interest to Israel are not expected to come up for debate until fairly late in the session. The most important of these issues are three political items. First, is reconsideration of the plan to internationalize the city of Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. At its last session the Assembly voted to internationalize the city and authorize the U.N. Trusteeship Council to draft a statute of internationalization and proceed to implement it. Although the Trusteeship Council drafted the statute it discovered that it could not be implemented and referred the entire issue to the Assembly.

(The Australian delegation to the United Nations includes two special advisers on Jerusalem. They are: Rev. A. Marsh, general secretary of the Australian Baptist Foreign Mission Board, and Dr. Eris O’Brien, Auxiliary Bishop to the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Australia.)

The other two issues of major concern to Israel are an Arab-sponsored item calling for the repatriation to Israel of Palestine Arab refugees and payment of compensation to them, and a Syrian item inviting the Arab League to attend sessions of the U.N. General Assembly. The latter point is a stratagem designed to isolate the Jewish state by making the Arab League the “official” regional organ of the U.N. in the Middle East.

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