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Hammarskjold to Continue His “good Offices” with Arabs and Israel

The Security Council resolution on the Middle East adopted this week is “quite a step in some respects, and definitely in the right direction,” United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold declared today.

At his first news conference since the Council’s action, which was dubbed a compromise because Britain had stricken out of the resolution a wish for peaceful settlement of the Israel-Arab conflict on a “mutually acceptable” basis, Mr. Hammarskjold denied that the deletion of that phrase on the insistence of the Arab delegates, backed by the Soviet Union, indicated an unsound practice as far as the United Nations in general was concerned.

Mr. Hammarskjold declared that he is going to continue his “good offices” with the governments in the Middle East, and he said that be is still convinced “emphatically” of the “will to peace of all the parties in the area.” However, he reiterated earlier statements about a final peace settlement being still in the distance.

The UN Secretary General said that Syria’s threat of a shooting war in the event that Israel resumes work on the Bnot Yacov canal is only a “unilateral interpretation” of Syria’s cease-fire pledge. He also said that Syria’s contention that “Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria” does seem like a statement affecting Israel sovereignty. He refused to say whether a future Palestine settlement will have to be built on either the 1947 partition resolution as demanded by the Arab states–or any other basis.

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