JERUSALEM (Jul. 19)
A strict blackout is being maintained on the extremely important talks held today between Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold following the latter’s arrival here this morning.
The face-to-face talk between the two statesmen lasted fully five hours and was interrupted only for a luncheon interval. No other Israel Cabinet member or official was in the room where the talk took place. Nor was there any member of the United Nations staff present. It is believed that the entire complex of Arab-Israeli problems, including the blockade of the Suez Canal, was touched upon during the lengthy discussion.
The talk will be resumed tomorrow morning, this time with the participation of Israel’s Foreign Minister Mrs. Golda Myerson and UN truce chief Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns. Tonight Mr. Hammarskjold was the guest of honor at a dinner given by Dr. Walter Eytan, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Mr. Hammarskjold is scheduled to leave tomorrow evening for Cairo with a stopover in Amman, the capital of Jordan.
Upon his landing this morning at Lydda airport, the Secretary General told reporters that he was glad to have had the opportunity to visit Geneva this summer. This visit, he said, enabled him to make his present two-day trip to Jerusalem. “It is quite natural that with the close association that I have with the problems of the area, I appreciate the opportunity to renew any personal contacts,” he declared.
Mr. Hammarskjold, who was met at the airport by Foreign Minister Myerson, added that this trip is purely personal. Unlike his visit in April which, he said, was “a fire-fighting assignment,” he intends to utilize this visit to Israel and Egypt to exchange views with Israel’s Premier Ben Gurion and Egypt’s President Col. Nasser.
Mr. Hammarskjold was also met at Lydda airport by UN officials headed by Gen. Burns. The UN truce chief said that the main purpose of Mr. Hammarskjold’s trip was to check upon on results of the cease-fire pledges he obtained from Israel and the four Arab states of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan during his Middle East peace mission last Spring.
Mr. Hammarskjold’s return coincides with an increase in border clashes between Jordan and Israel. Gen. Burns said there had been more incidents reported in the past two months than during any comparable period in several years.