UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 14)
Vigorous diplomatic activity was initiated today by the Israel delegation at the United Nations following a sudden postponement of a meeting of the UN Security Council scheduled for further discussion of the Israel-Syrian dispute over the Jordan waters used by Israel for its hydroelectric project.
The discussion was slated for resumption today under a Security Council decision of last month. However, Dr. Charles Malik, chairman of the Security Council for this month, announced late last night that at the request of the Western Big Three he had put off the meeting for a week.
The Big Three are the sponsors of a joint resolution at the Security Council which is acceptable to Israel but not to Syria. It was reported today that they feel they had not secured a sufficiently wide basis for support of their resolution and wanted more time for behind-the-scenes negotiations. A British spokesman confirmed today that “exchanges are continuing.”
As a result of the new situation, Ambassador Abba Eban, head of the Israel delegation at the UN, conferred this afternoon with Andrei Vishinsky, head of the Soviet delegation, who at previous Council sessions had expressed strong opposition to the Big Three resolution, arguing that Israel’s hydroelectric development of the Jordan waters “would play into American bands,” Members of other delegations represented at the Security Council were also seen today by Israeli diplomats.
Later in the day Ambassador Eban and M. Kidron, member of the Israel delegation, conferred with UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold on Jordan’s opposition to direct talks with Israel under Article XII of the armistice agreement. Such a meeting is mandatory and the responsibility for convoking it lies with the UN Secretary General. (In Washington, Congressman Emanuel Celler today issued a statement urging that the U.S. delegation at the UN act “immediately” to have the Security Council “bring Jordan to terms.”)