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Eisenhower Sees Prospects for Improved Arab-israel Relations

The State Department today published the report submitted by President Eisenhower to the Congress on U.S. activities at the United Nations and the stand taken by the American delegation there toward various problems, including the Arab-Israel problem.

The report established that “despite the often bitter and always uneasy relations between Israel and the surrounding Arab states, the prospects for a resolution of the area’s problems appeared somewhat brighter” during the last year.

Pointing out that a large majority of the meetings of the United Nations Security Council during last year were devoted to various aspects of the Arab-Israel problem, President Eisenhower says that they “evidenced not only the continued bitterness of relations in the area, but also the active intervention of the Soviet Union, through the use of the veto to insure that disputes remain unsettled.”

“However,” the President continues “the parties themselves showed increasing indications of self-imposed restraint, and it is noteworthy that elsewhere than in the Council definite progress was achieved toward reaching an agreement between Israel and the neighboring Arab states designed to improve the economic well-being of the Palestine area and to resettle Arab refugees.”

The President stresses the fact that relations between Israel and the Arab countries continue to be governed by bilateral armistice agreements and differences between the signatories are handled by mixed armistice commissions. “Although the enforcement procedure continued to function in a generally satisfactory manner during the year, three major disputes were brought to the Security Council,” President Eisenhower points out. He refers to the Syrian-Israeli dispute over the Bnot Yakov waters, the Israel complaint against Egypt’s blockade of the Suez Canal, and the Jordan complaint against Israel’s attack of the Nahalin village.

OUTLINES STAND TAKEN BY U.S. ON ISRAEL-ARAB ISSUES

President Eisenhower then outlines the stand taken by the American delegation at the Security Council in these three cases. The U.S. position in the Bnot Yakov case, he says, was that the UN Chief of Staff in Palestine should receive strong support from the Security Council and that Israel and Syria be called upon to abide by all his decisions when taken under the authority of the General Armistice Commission.” The United States, however, did not look unfavorably on any projects that were designed to improve the general economic well-being of the area,” the President emphasizes.

On the Israel complaint against Egypt, the U.S. supported a New Zealand resolution at the Security Council calling upon Egypt to refrain from its restrictive practices. However, the resolution was vetoed by the Soviet Union’s delegates, the President states in his report. Six months later, when the Israeli vessel “Bat Galim” was seized by Egypt, the United States supported the ruling of the Mixed Armistice Commission against Egypt.

On the Nahalin case, President Eisenhower’s report says that Lebanon submitted the Security Council a draft resolution that expressed “the strongest censure and condemnation” of the action at Nahalin and requested Israel to pay compensation for the loss of life and damage to properly.

“There was, however, to further Security Council action on the complaints in view of an Israeli request that the Council satisfy itself whether Jordan, not a member of the United Nations but having been invited to the Council, was prepared to indicate that it accepted in advance the obligation of pacific settlement provided for in the UN Charter. Such an undertaking on Jordan’s part could not be arranged.” President Eisenhower declares in his report.

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