UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (Jan. 24)
Secretary General Dag Hammarsk-jold will issue tomorrow morning the report requested from him in last Saturday’s General Assembly resolution on the State of Israel’s compliance with previous Assembly requests to withdraw all troops from Egyptian territory.
While Mr. Hammarskjold was putting the finishing touches on his report, leading delegations were engaged in many conferences here today, some of them with Mr. Hammarskjold, others among themselves. Among those who called on Mr. Hammarskjold today, were the delegates of the Soviet Union, Poland, France and others. It was obvious that two opposing kinds of pressure were being brought to bear on Mr. Hammarskjold:
Some of the delegations, especially from Western Europe, would like Mr. Hammarskjold to take the stand that he has authority under the Assembly’s troop withdrawal resolutions to spell out the functions of the United Nations Emergency Force and to deploy UNEF in such a way as to preclude hostilities between Israel and Egypt.
On the other hand, Mr. Mahmoud Fawzi, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, who met today with the chairmen of the ten other Arab delegations, was exerting pressure in the other direction for a Hammarskjold report that would order Israel to withdraw without any guarantees whatever.
A middle ground seemed to have been taken today by the one delegation chairman who is considered most influential in the present situation, Lester B, Pearson, Canada’s Minister for External Affairs. Mr. Pearson, in discussing the situation at a luncheon of the United Nations Correspondents Association, said that Israel’s complete withdrawal of its troops is indeed essential for full compliance with the Assembly resolutions.
However, Mr. Pearson appeared to agree with Israel’s insistence that withdrawal must be accompanied by “simultaneous measures” when he stated that “at the same time” that withdrawal takes place “some recognition must be given to the fact that it should be unnecessary for UNEF to come back in again a year from now. It should be unnecessary for UNEF to go into action again, either along the demarcation lines, or to see that Gaza is not again used as a base for attack on Israel, or to see that the principle of freedom of navigation is observed.”
British sources indicated here clearly today that they will insist before the present Middle East situation is resolved that Israel be given freedom of passage through the Suez Canal. They declared that they “deplore the fact that this view which has been endorsed by more than one Security Council resolution was previously ignored.”