Menu JTA Search

Israelis and Egyptians to Meet Today on Easing Border Tension

Representatives of Israel and Egypt will meet tomorrow under the chairmanship of Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, chief of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, to consider a number of measures of a military character aimed at reducing tension along the Gaza strip border. The meeting will be held at Kilometer 95, a border point along the Beersheba-Gaza road, a UN communique said.

The UN communique also stressed that the meeting is the outcome of consultations and exchanges of views that Gen. Burns had with the Egyptian and Israel Governments, which centered on four practical measures submitted by the UN truce chief to the Security Council and endorsed by the Council on March 30. The communique enumerated the number of proposals made, including Gen. Burns’ four-point proposal, an Egyptian proposal for the withdrawal of troops from both sides of the demarcation line, and a four-point plan submitted by Israel on June 17.

Both parties have agreed to discuss the Burns plan, as well as each other’s proposal, but the final agenda will be adopted only at the first meeting. The UN statement said that the Egyptian Government had named Lieut. Col. Salah Gohar as its representative, empowering him to discuss and agree on an agenda, within the scope of the armistice agreements.

The Israel Government, on the other hand, confirming that it had received Egypt’s reply via Gen. Burns, named its representatives to the meeting, but made it clear that it did not consider such a discussion a substitute for the high level talks, as proposed by Gen. Burns, and that the Egyptian reply is to be regarded as non-acceptance by Egypt of such an invitation. Israel’s opinion, therefore, is that this refusal is liable to involve Egypt with the heavy responsibility for failure to undertake a serious effort toward the reduction of the tension now governing relations between the two countries.

Israel will be represented at the meeting by Joseph Teroah, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Armistice Affairs Department, and Lieut. Col. Yaacov Nur-Sela, senior delegate from this country to the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission.

NEXT STORY