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Hammarskjold Recommends Direct U.N. Talks in Arab-israel Dispute

The United Nations should continue the type of “direct diplomatic approach” to the governments embroiled in the Israel-Arab conflicts, Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold advised the General Assembly today.

Mr. Hammarskjold made his statement as part of his introduction to his annual report to the General Assembly for the year ending June 15, 1956. The report itself was issued several weeks ago, but the introduction which contains overall comments by the Secretary General came out today.

“We should, I believe,” declared the Secretary General, “seek a development which would give greater emphasis to the United Nations as an instrument for negotiation of settlements, as distinct from the mere debate of issues. The Charter does not envisage settlements imposed by force. But the obligations of states to settle their disputes by peaceful methods does not mean that principles of justice and international law may be disregarded.”

Coming to the Palestine question directly, Mr. Hammarskjold observed that that problem “has a position more independent of the general development–but it is not unrelated in certain of its aspects.” Reminding the General Assembly that he had already reported to the Security Council on his mission to the Middle East last Spring, the Secretary General expressed the belief that the mandate given him by the Council “has improved the chances of developing a policy helpful to the governments and peoples working for peace in the area, by adding to its public debate of the issues involved a direct diplomatic approach to the governments in the region.”

Thus Mr. Hammarskjold was seen here as implying that he feels himself bound to continue his “good offices” as instructed by a Council resolution adopted after his so called “peace mission” last June. Usually the introduction to the Secretary General’s annual report to the Assembly includes a sizable chapter devoted to the Middle East. This time there is only one paragraph in the report dealing directly with the Israel-Arab conflict.

In a section dealing with human rights Mr. Hammarskjold took note of the recent adoption by the United Nations of a supplementary convention dealing with the abolition of slavery and referred also to the importance of various studies being carried on by the Subcommission on Protection of Minorities and Against Discrimination.

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