Israel Warns Powers Suez Blockade Imperils Their Navigation Rights

Israel reminded members of the United Nations today that, for five years, “Egypt has used its proximity to the Suez Canal to deny members of the United Nations their freedom to trade with each other through an international waterway.”

At the same time, it warned the maritime powers and the five-power commission scheduled to open talks in Cairo today with President Nasser on proposals for control of the Suez Canal, that “there is no distinction between the rights of Israel in this matter and those of any other country. No government is in a good position to assert its own rights if it allows equal and identical rights to be denied to others.”

The reminder and warning were contained in a statement issued by Ambassador. Abba S. Eban, permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations. The statement warned that while Israel has been the chief object of Egyptian discrimination, “it is evident that any government with whose policies Egypt chose to disagree could in the future be the victim of this lawless sanction. For, if Egypt is entitled to block Israeli ships at her own whim, she is entitled to block the ships of any other nation. Conversely, if Egypt is not authorized to interfere with Suez Canal shipping in general, she may not apply interference in any particular case.”

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