UNITED NATIONS, N, Y (Feb. 2)
President Leslie Knox Munro called today for a meeting of the Security Council on Thursday afternoon to hear Israel’s complaint against Egypt for disregard of the Council’s orders to halt the blockade of Israel-bound shipping and for violation of the Israeli-Egyptian armistice agreement.
Interest was aroused here by reports from Cairo of intense diplomatic activity to secure favorable consideration of the Egyptian case. Over the last few days, Dr. Mahmoud Fawzi, the Foreign Minister, summoned the envoys of all states that are members of the Security Council, to give them private expositions of the Egyptian position.
Informed sources here expressed the view today that the Egyptians know they are in an impossible situation and can offer little real justification for their actions. It is believed here that they would like to drop their latest order adding foodstuffs to the list of “war potential” to be kept from Israel by blockade, if, by so doing, they could get Security Council action dropped. The issue, however, has gone too far for that.
U.N. CIRCLES SEE EGYPT IN PREDICAMENT
Official indications in Cairo that Egypt would not recognize an adverse Security Council decision were not well received here either by United Nations officials or by members of the Security Council. One delegate, commenting on the Cairo report of an Egyptian claim that “the Security Council can recommend, but it lacks power to enforce,” declared that the Egyptians simply did not know what they were talking about, General Assembly resolutions are “recommendations,” he noted, but Security Council resolutions are “orders” and under the U. N. Charter, the Council has the power to enforce its orders.
U. N. observers commented today that Egypt has, by overstepping the mark with her blockade, put herself in a really tough spot. She can hardly hope to obtain international support in her dispute with Britain over the Suez Canal if she persists in denying free access to the Canal and defies the Security Council on this. On the other hand, the Naguib regime cannot face the loss of prestige at home and in the Arab capitals that would result if it had to bow to a Security Council order to halt its blockade practice.