WASHINGTON (Oct. 19)
State Department sources revealed here today that the United States would support the election of the United Arab Republic to the United Nations Security Council.
The UN General Assembly, which elects members to the Council, is expected to vote next month on filling three vacancies to result at the end of 1960 by the expiration of present incumbencies. One of the seats to be vacated is currently held by Tunisia, whose place the UAR is expected to obtain.
For weeks, since it became known that the United States would back the UAR for one of the Council seats, there has been controversy on the subject, with many protests voiced against an American vote for the UAR. The Cairo Government has been accused of violating United Nations resolutions in regard to the blockade of the Suez Canal against Israeli goods and shipping, of insisting that a “state of belligerence” still exists between Egypt and Israel despite the 1949 armistice agreements, and of acting as the principal country implementing the Arab economic blockade against Israel. Another such protest was voiced only today by former Senator Herbert H. Lehman.
Three weeks ago, “authoritative sources”–not emanating from the State Department–were quoted as saying they had an “absolute conviction” that the U.S.A. would not back the UAR for the Council seat. Today, however, the State Department’s position was described as one holding that the UAR is the only appropriate candidate for the Council seat traditionally held by a Moslem state. The UAR is said to have the endorsement for this election of the majority of Moslem states that are members of the United Nations.
Mr. Lehman’s objection to U.S. backing of the UAR at the United Nations was expressed here today in a letter to the influential Washington Post. “Failure of our Government to review and modify its apparent position,” declared Mr. Lehman, “will court still another disaster for the United Nations.”
Charging UAR President Gamal Abdel Nasser with “flagrant violations” of Security Council resolutions, Mr. Lehman stated: “To accord him a seat on the very body to which the world looks for the maintenance of peace could hardly fail to diminish the moral stature and even the authority of the Security Council.”
Mr. Lehman expressed the hope that many others would Join “in protesting the supine acceptance by the United States of the inevitability of the selection of the United Arab Republic for a seat on the Security Council.”