WASHINGTON (Jul. 4)
State Department circles today indicated that the United States Government has complete confidence in Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, United Nations truce chief in Palestine, who is now trying to bring Israel and Egypt together on steps to relax the tension in the Gaza area.
The reaffirmation of U.S. support of Gen. Burns was expressed while Egypt is seeking to have Gen. Burns replaced. Members of the American delegation to the United Nations have emphasized that they see no reason why Gen. Burns should not be continued in his present position, and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold had made it clear that he intends to retain Gen. Burns.
Meanwhile, the Israel-Egyptian talks at Gaza, held under the chairmanship of Gen. Burns, are in suspension. They were held for two days last week but it is not certain whether they will resume on Wednesday as scheduled. Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Fawzi, was asked over a coast-to-coast radio-television broadcast yesterday whether he had requested that the Canadian government withdraw Gen. Burns. He gave an answer which was taken by correspondents who questioned him over the air as a virtual admission that he had done exactly that.
Reports of reactions of Western diplomats in Cairo and Jerusalem were to the effect that the West “deplored” Egypt’s efforts to oust Gen. Burns, While the Cairo press was attacking the UN truce chief as being “pro-Israel,” Big Three diplomats in both the Egyptian and Israel capitals were reported convinced that Gen. Burns has been impartial and that he was still the best possible go-between.