U. N. Secretary General Leaves on Middle East Mission Today
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U. N. Secretary General Leaves on Middle East Mission Today

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United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold is leaving tomorrow on his Middle East mission unfettered as to the scope of the problems he may discuss with Israel and Arab leaders. This, in spite of the limitations upon his mandate from the Security Council which were implicitly imposed by the Arab representatives here with the backing of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Hammarskjold, at a farewell press conference today, pointed out that his Middle East trip will be based not only on the Security Council’s mandate, but will also permit him much wider leeway as Secretary General. “This operation takes me to the Middle East,” he said, “as the agent of the Security Council and under a Council mandate. However, the Secretary General and his rights and duties co-exist with that mandate. Exploration by the Secretary General of all proper and useful avenues remains possible. The Secretary General can bring up discussions with the governments in his regular capacity. Problems not within the scope of the Council resolution could properly be discussed by the Secretary General in his own capacity.”

With his usual optimism, Mr. Hammarskjold declared that he felt “there is a will all around the area where I am going” and “where there is a will there is a way. I would not take this stand unless I felt something useful can be done.” Mr. Hammarskjold also made it clear that whatever report he makes to the Council will touch only upon the duties imposed on him by the Council mandate–but he may return from his mission without necessarily reporting publicly on whatever steps he may have taken in his capacity as Secretary General, outside the mandate.

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