Britain and France Want “speedy Withdrawal” of Israeli Forces

Britain and France sent identical letters today to United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold giving qualified support to the plan for an international police force in the Middle East but calling for an early meeting of the Security Council “at the Ministerial level to work out an international settlement which would be likely to endure, together with the means to enforce it.”

The letters raised the following additional points: 1. That it be ascertained first whether the Israel and Egyptian Governments accept the proposal for an international police force; 2. That the composition of the UN command’s staff be discussed further: 3. That the police force, “interpolated as a shield between Israel and Egypt pending a Palestine settlement and a settlement of the question of the Suez Canal, have as one of its functions the job of securing “the speedy withdrawal of Israeli forces.”

The British and French Governments declared, in their letters to Mr. Hammarskjold: “To return deliberately to the system which has produced continuing deadlock and chaos in the Middle East is now not only undesirable but impossible. A new constructive solution is required.”

(British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd announced in Commons today that “it is the policy of the British Government to insure that Israeli forces withdraw from Egyptian territory. We have already told the United Nations that we believe it necessary to secure the speedy withdrawal of Israeli forces, “he continued. He noted that once the British and French forces were in the Suez Canal area they could guarantee that hostilities ended speedily, that Israeli troops are withdrawn and that there is no repetition of events of the past few years.)

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