UNITED NATIONS, N.Y (Oct. 12)
Israel’s offer to the Arab states for disarmament and for the conclusion of a non-aggression pact–voiced this week at the United Nations General Assembly by Foreign Minister Golda Meir-was rejected today by Mahmoud Fawzi, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Republic.
Addressing the General Assembly, Mr. Fawzi repeated the usual demand of the Arab leaders that Israel must fulfill “all” the United Nations resolutions on Arab-Israel issues and that the Palestine Arab refugees must be given the right to repatriation. He declared his government continued to “stand firmly by the side of the Arabs of Palestine until the full and actual recognition of their rights.” He then referred sarcastically to Mrs. Meir’s declaration, though he did not mention the Israel Foreign Minister by name.
The Palestine Conciliation Commission, which is under instructions to submit to the General Assembly a report by Sunday on what progress, if any, had been made in implementing UN recommendations on the Arab refugee problem, was under pressure today by the Arab delegations here, who seemed to be unhappy about the outline of the report prepared by Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dr. Johnson recently visited the Middle East as a PCC emissary.
It is understood that the report gives a “balanced” view of the Arab refugee situation, placing equal responsibility for the solution of the problem on Arab governments and on Israel. It is that balance which caused dissatisfaction of the Arab delegations here. They insist that the PCC report should be “tough” with regard to Israel.
Meanwhile it was learned that Dr. Johnson, in his evaluation of the Arab refugee problem, pointed out that “resettlement of the Arab refugees in Arab lands and their integration in the Arab economy were possible alternatives to repatriation originally envisaged by a 1948 Assembly resolution dealing with that subject.
Because the PCC cannot as yet get the Arab leaders here to refrain from attacking those Johnson views, the PCC will only meet the October 15 deadline for its report in a formal manner. It will issue an interim report Monday morning, but the document will defer until later a substantive discussion of the refugee issue.
The report on Monday is expected to deal largely with routine commission affairs, touching on its continuing study concerned with identifying and determining the value of property in Israel claimed by Arab refugees.