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U.N. Chief Defends His Pessimistic View on Arab-israel Peace

United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarsrskjold today explained at a press conference his statement that “the time is not yet here for a peace settlement between the Arab states and Israel.” The statement was contained in the annual report Mr. Hammarskjold published last week, as prepared for submission to the UN General Assembly which starts its session next month.

“Realism was always a good thing in politics,” the UN secretary-general said at his press conference today, He challenged anyone to contest the truth of his statement about the Arab-Israel peace possibilities at the present time. “We should not fool ourselves that we have gotten farther than we have, ” he emphasized,

Mr. Hammarskjold announced at the press conference the appointment of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, former mediator of the Arab-Jewish war, as one of the UN under secretaries. However, he denied that Dr. Bunche would be primarily concerned with the Palestine issue.

The UN Secretary General paid generous tribute to Maj. Gen. Vagn Bennike, retiring chief of staff of the truce supervision organization in Palestine. He said he had “unreserved admiration” for what Gen. Bennike had done, ” and added it was “what one might expect from a man of his upright moral attitude and great integrity and judgment.”

“I can’t remember, “Mr. Hammarskjold went on, “any case of disagreement between myself and Gen. Bennike. There was a complete meeting of minds between us.” The secretary-general added that Gen. Bennike had “made all the contribution that an outstanding personality could make toward peace.”

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