Belgrade Conference Adopts Statement on Arab Refugees; Mum on Israel
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Belgrade Conference Adopts Statement on Arab Refugees; Mum on Israel

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The conference of “neutralist” nations concluded here last night with the adoption of a policy statement declaring that “the participants condemn imperialist policies in the Middle East and proclaim the necessity of the restoration of the full rights of the Arab refugees according to the United Nations charter.”

The reference to the Middle East, which did not mention Israel by name, was contained in a general condemnation of colonialism which referred to Algeria, Angola, the Congo and South Africa.

Trustworthy sources reported that the United Arab Republic sought to persuade the other countries to approve a resolution condemning Israel as “an imperialist tool, ” calling for the liquidation of all “imperialist bases” in the Middle East and African countries, and calling on the neutralist states to take action to force Israel to implement UN resolutions on partition and the Arab refugees.

More than a quarter of the delegations opposed the UAR draft. Led by Premier Nehru of India, Yugoslavia, Ceylon, Burma, Nepal, Ethiopia, Ghana and Cyprus joined to win omission of the UAR draft from the final conference documents. The opposing countries won agreement from a majority of the delegations to a proposal that references to any conflict directly involving any of the participating countries should be omitted.

The outcome was generally considered a moral victory for Israel and a considerable improvement over the results of the Bandung and Casablanca conferences, both of which condemned Israel along the lines of the defeated UAR proposal here.

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