Hammarskjold Leaves Today for Middle East; May “drop In” to Israel
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Hammarskjold Leaves Today for Middle East; May “drop In” to Israel

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United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold may “drop in” to Jerusalem to consult with the Israel Government during his trip to the Middle East to carry out the provisions of the Arab League resolution adopted unanimously by the emergency session of the UN General Assembly last week, he indicated here today prior to his departure on his mission tomorrow.

“However,” Mr. Hammarskjold emphasized, “Israel is in no sense directly a party to the inter-Arab arrangements and inter-Arab agreements, reflected in the resolution–and the resolution as such does not call for anything that, in the usual diplomatic interpretations of the word, could be called consultations in Jerusalem.”

The UN Secretary General, who will start his tour in the Middle East with a week’s visit to Jordan’s capital of Amman, said that “Arabs and non-Arabs alike” stand to benefit from the “new approach” to the Middle East problem which may develop as a result of the resolution adopted by the UN Assembly.

“I have no special authority to interpret the resolution,” he told newsmen, “but I can state, without reservation, how I read it. The approach to the problem is, so to say, on two levels. There is the wider one of reaffirmation concerning all member states of certain rules that should apply in particular now to this region. And so far there is no distinction at all.”

“Then, within that framework, those countries who sponsored the resolution reaffirm in relation to each other–in words which were quoted from the Charter of the Arab League but which have an independent life in our resolution–various commitments which should rule their mutual behavior. It is quite obvious that this latter part applies only to the countries which, so to say, are directly under the formula–my interpretation would be, in the first instance, the sponsors.”

“However, as I pointed out, that mutual undertaking is fitted into and is a kind of intensification of a much wider statement of member obligations, and in that case, there are no distinctions. That is to say, automatically the rules will cover every country in the region, whether or not they are parties to this intensification of it in relation to each other.”

The Secretary General also expressed the hope that the “radio truce” envisaged for the Middle East might ultimately develop into a “radio armistice.” He brushed off questions designed to pin him down about plans for a new United Nations peace force in the Middle East by declaring that the present UN groups in the region–like the United Nations Emergency Force and the UN Observation Group in Lebanon–were now “integrated” under Secretariat direction.

Mr. Hammarskjold conferred during the week-end with Israel’s delegation chairman, Abba Eban, who was accompanied by Gideon Raphael, Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, member of the Israel delegation to the special UN Assembly.

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