UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (Dec. 16)
United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold today announced formally that he has appointed Dr. Francisco Urrutia of Colombia as his personal representative to deal with the Israel-Jordan dispute regarding Mt. Scopus.
“I attach very great significance to this mission,” he said. “If it succeeds, it will stabilize this situation which if allowed to drift and not resolved could give a great deal of trouble.”
As to the possibility that Dr. Urrutia’s mandate from the United Nations may be extended to the broader area of the possible extension of the Israel-Arab armistice agreements into peace talks, Mr. Hammarskjold said: “Dr. Urrutia is going there to undertake certain practical steps connected with an agreement for the demilitarization of the Mr. Scopus area made between Israel and Jordan in July, 1948. His terms of reference do not open the door to any other negotiations.”
Mr. Hammarskjold’s statement about Dr. Urrutia’s mission was made by the Secretary General at a press conference at which he dealt chiefly with matters that had been on the agenda of the General Assembly which closed here Saturday. Dr. Urrutia will leave for the Middle East at the end of the week.
In response to a query whether he still perceives a “will to peace” in the Middle East, Mr. Hammarskjold said: “Definitely–if anything my impressions at this time confirm my previous conclusions.” The Secretary General said that when he visits Egyptian authorities in Cairo at the end of this month he hopes to “cover all ground out-standing between Egypt and the United Nations.”
In reply to a question whether he will discuss with Egypt the Security Council’s six-point declaration of 1956 regarding operation of the Suez Canal, Mr. Hammarskjold said “whether we will talk about this matter specifically, I hate to say ‘yes. ‘ Aspects of this problem could be quite in order, although there is no agenda.” The council’s declaration specifically forbids Egypt to bar ships of all nations from passage through the waterway.
Henry Cabot Lodge, American delegate to the United Nations, in a summation of the 12th General Assembly’s accomplishments on the Middle East, suggested yesterday that the new $100,000,000 special projects fund for economic aid set up under UN auspices could be adapted to development aid to the Middle East without the suspicion that any single nation was playing power politics in the area. He also noted that the UN could continue to aid the Palestine refugees and could handle a number of Palestine problems pending before the Security Council.