Syria Wants U.N. Resolutions As Basis for Arab-israel Talks
Menu JTA Search

Syria Wants U.N. Resolutions As Basis for Arab-israel Talks

Download PDF for this date

Direct Arab-Israel peace negotiations under the chairmanship of the Palestine Conciliation Commission, but “in accordance with the United Nations resolutions on Palestine” were advocated today at the U.N. Special Political Committee by Syrian delegate Ahmed Shukairi.

Mr. Shukairi, completing a statement he began at yesterday’s meeting, suggested the creation of three mixed Arab-Jewish committees, one to deal with the internationalization of Jerusalem, one to deal with the refugee question, and the third to deal with a territorial settlement. All of these would work under the auspices of the conciliation commission, and in the light of the resolutions of the General Assembly.

Mr. Shukairi’s statements were in reply to the plan put forward yesterday before the same committee by Israel’s Ambassador Abba Eban and the resolution introduced by eight neutral powers calling for direct Arab-Israel peace talks. Mr. Eban emphasized yesterday that discussion of the “unfulfilled proposals of the past” would stultify the prospects of reaching a settlement.

In the course of his address today, Mr. Shukairi made a bid for Latin American support by advocating the internationalization of Jerusalem and suggesting that Pope Pins XII appoint the first governor of the city. He also insisted that the U.N. decision on the internationalization of Jerusalem should not be ignored, asserting that the Arab states had accepted “in toto” a plan for its internationalization drafted by the Trusteeship Council.


Ambassador Abba Eban, in a statement issued this afternoon, said there was nothing new in the proposal of the Syrian delegate, Ahmed Shukairi.

“Mr. Shukairi made the identical proposals last year,” he stated, “but there after the Arab governments still continued to refuse any negotiations for a peace settlement with Israel. The peace plan which I submitted yesterday on Israel’s behalf would allow for full and free negotiations on all aspects of the refugee and territorial problems.

“Mr. Shukairi’s proposal for a mixed committee of Israel and Jordan representatives on Jerusalem ignores the fact that there is a third party, namely world religious interests, with whom Israel sought prior agreement in the past,” the Israel delegate pointed out.

Mr. Eban went on to say that in his view peace negotiations should be far wider than discussions on territorial and refugee questions. He said that it was “indispensible” to discuss the basic political, economic and security questions as well as regional cooperation. Within such a wider context the territorial and refugee questions could more readily be solved. “If the Arab Governments sincerely desire to enter into direct peace negotiations they should give mature consideration to the plan outlined by Israel yesterday,” Mr. Eban declared.

David Johnson of Canada told the committee that there had been a turn “by imperceptible degrees ” in the direction of “mutual accommodation” in Palestine; the hostilities had ceased; and “certain areas of agreement already existed between Israel and its neighbors.” He welcomed the fact that Israel, one of the parties to the dispute, had taken the trouble to formulate a peace plan. This, plus the Arab offer to negotiate on the basis of past Assembly resolutions, had made for a “changed context” within which the Palestine problem was being considered, he said.

He asked the Arab states to specify which U.N. resolutions they had in mind as the basis for negotiations. He pointed out that U.N. approaches to the Palestine issue had differed at various times and that some of the resolutions on Palestine were contradictory. To say that all resolutions were accepted as a basis of negotiation would “give rise to ambiguity,” Mr. Johnson warned.

Dr. Alfredo Cock of Colombia expressed his government’s support of the resolution by the eight powers calling for direct negotiations. This represents a change in policy by Colombia, which previously supported the Arab states on Palestine.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund