UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Jan. 24)
United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold served notice this week-end that unless Jordan replies to his second message asking for a definite agreement to meet with Israel under Article XII of the Jordan-Israel armistice, he will convoke such a conference regardless. He did not set a deadline for Jordan’s reply, but indicated he would not wait too long before acting.
Mr. Hammarskjold, addressing a press conference Friday, pointed out that under Article XII “the Secretary General is under a legal obligation to convoke a conference when he is called upon to do so under the circumstances set out in the article.” He added: “Personally I feel that the conference would serve a useful purpose if it is set up within the framework of the armistice agreement and if its scope is limited strictly to questions deriving from implementation of that agreement.”
He added that “in line with what I have just said I consider that the conference should be kept within the limits of the armistice agreement both as concerns its setup and the scope of its work. In my view, the armistice agreement opens possibilities for participation in the conference of the Secretary General of the United Nations. If the parties would consider it useful that the Secretary General himself or somebody representing him, take part in the conference, I think that such a proposal should be accepted, and I am willing to cooperate personally to all the extent that my time permits.”
Mr. Hammarskjold’s reference to the set-up of the conference within the limits of the armistice agreement was taken as an indirect reply to the suggestion voiced by certain elements in the State Department that it would be adivsable to have some conference other than under Article XII.