Colombian Diplomat to Become U.N. Mediator in Mt. Scopus Dispute
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Colombian Diplomat to Become U.N. Mediator in Mt. Scopus Dispute

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Dr, Francisco Urrutia of Colombia, former chairman of his country’s delegation here, has been asked by Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold to act as his personal representative regarding the Mt. Scopus dispute between Israel and Jordan.

Confirmation of the invitation was obtained here today, but thus far it is understood that Dr. Urrutia has not yet replied. The Colombian representative who, three years ago, was chairman of the important political and security committee of the General Assembly, represented his country for a time in the Security Council. He is known as a staunch proponent of the view that the United Nations must seek a basic solution of the Israel-Arab dispute.

United Nations officials declined today to comment on Syria’s announcement yesterday that she would not cooperate with Col. Christian Moe, chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission However, it was learned here that Col. Moe long ago scheduled his return home to Norway after the end of this month when he completes his tour of duty.

It was also learned here that Lt. Col. J. G. A. P. Bertrand of Canada has already been appointed as Col. Moe’s successor and will shortly take over the chairmanship of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission.

(In Israel, the Syrian announcement of non-cooperation with Col. Moe was seen as an attempt to make political capital of Col. Moe’s departure. Since the Jordanians kicked up a row by refusing to cooperate with Col. Byron V. Leary, Acting Chief of Staff of the truce machinery, it is believed that the Syrians felt a similar action on their part would help recoup their position in the Arab world and safely picked on Col. Moe.)

The fact that Col. Bertrand is already on the scene was confirmed here by official sources. As a senior officer of the UN Truce Supervision Organization, Col. Bertrand is eligible for appointment as chairman of any of the mixed armistice commissions. Those assignments are made by Col. Byron V. Leary.

Ambassador Abba Eban and Mordecai Kidron, representative and deputy representative; respectively, of Israel at the United Nations, conferred this morning with Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. The Secretary General told the Israeli diplomats of his conversations in the Middle East last week.

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