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Hammarskjold Seeks to Persuade Egypt to Release the Greek Freighter

Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold is personally in contact with the United Arab Republic Government in Cairo by telephone in an effort to persuade Egypt to release the Greek freighter Astypalea with the ship’s Israel-originated cargo, it was learned here this afternoon.

Mr. Hammarskjold, who telephoned UAR Foreign Minister Mahmud Fawzi from United Nations headquarters before departing for a five-week tour last Friday, talked with Dr. Fawzi again on Saturday and again yesterday.

Dr. Fawzi had returned to Cairo Thursday, the day before the Astypalea was halted by Egyptian authorities at Port Said as the vessel attempted to pass through the Suez Canal. Dr. Fawai had been in Denmark where he negotiated with the Danish Government the problem of the Danish freighter Inge Toft which has been berthed at a Port Said dock since May 21. The Inge Toft contains an Israeli cargo which the ship’s captain refuses to unload because the UAR announced it would confiscate the cargo.

Here at UN headquarters, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs, has been briefed on the Astypalea case by trans-Atlantic telephone immediately after each of Mr. Hammarskjold’s conversations with Dr. Fawzi. Dr. Bunche, in turn, has been in constant communication on the issue with the Israel delegation.

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