UNITED NATIONS N. Y. (Apr. 4)
After two weeks of debate, during which four Arab delegations employed a variety of delaying tactics while the Soviet Union tried hard to turn the move into an anti-Israel condemnation, the Security Council this afternoon unanimously adopted the American resolution requesting Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold to undertake an immediate mission in the Middle East with a view to prevent an Arab-Israel war.
The resolution expressed grave concern lest the “tensions” along the Israel Arab borders deteriorate further to the point where they might be “likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.” Mr. Hammarskjold will probably leave on his mission Friday, taking along with him Henry R. Labouisse, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, who has been here almost three weeks for consolations.
The Soviet amendments were defended during today’s session by Arkady A. Sobolev head of the Soviet delegation. However, when taken to a vote they were defeated one by one. Following their defeat, the American resolution was adopted unanimously. The Soviet delegate, who had been expected to abstain, surprised everybody by voting for.
Encouraged by the unanimous vote approving his “peace mission,” Mr. Hammarskjold the Security Council that he would leave for the Middle East “to explore possible ways of reducing the tension along demarcation lines.” He asked all parties to the armistice agreements to “cooperate fully in a joint effort inspired by mutual confidence. He concluded with an appeal to all who “are not parties to the conflict” to assist his mission “by restraint in word and action.”
Addressing today’s session, Israel Ambassador Abba Eban gave the lie to Syria’s delegate Ahmed Shukairy who had contended in the morning that only “one party” had ever violated any of the armistice agreements while the Arabs had come to the Security Council with absolutely clean hands. Such a statement, Mr. Eban said, was “not in accord with the objective truth or the findings of the Truce Supervision Organization in hundreds of cases.”
Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, United Nations truce chief, will meet Mr. Hammarskjold probably in Rome, to work out details connected with the latter’s “peace mission” to Israel and the Arab countries. The resolution adopted today by the Security Council requests Mr. Hammarskjold to report his recommendations within a month.
The resolution further requests Mr. Hammarskjold to arrange with the Arab countries and Israel for the adoption of the following measures: 1. Withdrawal of the forces of the parties concerned from the armistice demarcation lines: 2. Full freedom of movement for UN military observers along these lines and in the demilitarized zones and in the defensive areas; and 3. Establishment of local arrangements for the prevention of incidents and the prompt detection of any violations of the armistice agreements.