Report Israel to Await Results of U. N. Diplomacy on Suez Passage Issue
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Report Israel to Await Results of U. N. Diplomacy on Suez Passage Issue

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Informed sources indicated today that three-way negotiations, involving Israel, the United Arab Republic and the United Nations would continue on the question of transit of Israel cargoes through the Suez Canal following the visit here of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, United Nations Undersecretary for Political Affairs.

Dr. Bunche apparently secured Israel’s agreement to continue for the time being a policy of silent diplomatic negotiations rather than recourse to the Security Council. But it was pointed out that some decision would have to be taken by May 15. On that date, a ship charactered by Israel, carrying an Israeli cargo, will leave Haifa for the Far East and seek passage through the Suez Canal.

Unless President Camal Abbel Nasser of the UAR agreed by that date not to interfere with the ship’s passage, Israel would have to choose whether to give the UN further time for negotiations, and send the ship through the Canal empty to be loaded at Elath or to send the ship as planned and demand Security Council action when it was seized.


It had been reported here that the United Arab Republic was willing to permit the passage of Israel cargoes if carried in ships not chartered by Israel or the passage of Israel chartered foreign-flag ships if they were not carrying cargo. According to the report, the UAR would not agree to allow the transit of Israel cargo on Israel-chartered ships and it was known that Israel-chartered cargo-less ships passed through the Canal without incident.

Dr. Bunche told reporters after an hour-long interview with Prime Minister David Ben Gurion that he planned to report to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, what he had been told by United Arab Republic and Israel officials of their views on Suez Canal passage.

Dr. Bunche conferred with Mr. Ben Gurion Friday after a quick visit to Amman for talks with Jordanian officials. Dr. Bunche also met with Foreign Minister Golda Meir Israel sources declined to disclose whether he had reported any success in his talks in Cairo on the issue of UAR seizure of Israel cargoes. But Dr. Bunche told newsmen that he expected Mr. Hammarskjold would communicate with the foreign ministries of the UAP and Israel after receiving his report.

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