Four Powers Bargain with Arabs at U.N. on Palestine Refugees Issue
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Four Powers Bargain with Arabs at U.N. on Palestine Refugees Issue

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Representatives of the American, British, French and Turkish delegations at the United Nations session here today met with Arab delegates in a third attempt to work out a resolution on the Palestine Arab refugees which would be acceptable to the Arabs. Meanwhile, the resolution sponsored by the four powers in the U.N. Political Committee remains “suspended.”

It was learned that the Arabs came to today’s conference with written suggestions for changes in the refugee resolution without which they threatened to vote against the four-power suggestion. It is believed that the Arabs want all mention of “reintegration” and settlement of the refugees in the Arab states removed and some idea of repatriation included in the resolution. They also demand that no reference be made to Arab states’ co-operation in any project for resettlement of the refugees. This is interpreted in U.N. circles here as evidence of the Arab states’ intention of keeping the refugees on a relief status and using them as a political weapon against Israel.

At a meeting of the Political Committee, which discussed the report of John Blandford, director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the representatives of the Western Powers praised the report and appealed to the U.N. committee to carry out the three-year $250,000,000 program for refugee relief and reintegration recommended by the agency. The American delegate, Philip C. Jessup, pointed out that the General Assembly had adopted in 1950 a resolution stressing the need for reintegration of the Arab refugees.

The French delegate praised the U.N.R.W.A. report as a constructive effort which tries “to meet the issues squarely.” The British representative declared that a solution of the refugee problem is urgent not only for humanitarian and economic reasons, but because it is a sore spot in Arab-Israel relations. The Afghanistan delegate insisted that the basic solution for the refugees was repatriation, not relief.

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