UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (Sep. 3)
The Soviet Union exercised its veto today to nullify the action of a majority of the Security Council in passing a resolution introduced by the United States and Britain condemning “the wanton murder at Almagor in Israel territory of two Israel citizens on Aug. 19, 1963.”
Eight members of the Security Council had voted in favor of the resolution which also rejected the Syrian counter-complaint against Israel and called on both parties to the dispute to cooperate with the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in maintaining peace along the border. The Soviet Union and Morocco alone voted against the resolution and Venezuela abstained.
Earlier, a series of Moroccan resolutions aimed at watering down the draft resolution failed of adoption when only the Soviet Union and Morocco voted in favor while the other nine members of the Council all abstained.
Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative, thanked the eight members of the Council who had voted in favor of the draft, declaring that the vote by the “over whelming majority of the Council” showed “Israel has been clearly vindicated and Syria has been morally condemned.”
Mr. Comay expressed his regret for the Soviet veto, stating that the negative vote by the USSR was “even more regrettable” during the present period when the Soviet Union might have been expected to aid peace. However, he stated; “No veto can wipe out the fact, No veto can delete from the Council records the clear views expressed by every one of the members of the Council except the Soviet Union, and, naturally, Morocco.”
AMERICANS, BRITISH RESISTED INTENSIVE ARAB PRESSURE TO COMPROMISE
At the very beginning of this afternoon’s session, both the United States and Britain made it clear that, in spite of tremendous pressures upon their governments by the Arab states over the long weekend, they had not budged from the position stated in their draft resolution.
The Moroccan representative, Dey Ould Sidi Baba, delivered a bitter attack against the Western Powers after the voting had been completed, declaring that their draft may have exacerbated the tense situation along all the Israel-Arab borders. He proposed that Lt, Gen. Odd Bull, chief of staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, be instructed to file a factual report showing the exact condition of the manner in which, the Moroccan contended, Israel violates the Armistice agreements and United Nations rules concerning demilitarized zones. Secretary General U Thant announced immediately he would request Gen. Bull to file such a report detailing “the factual, not the political” situation within the next two months.
However, Ambassador Charles W. Yost, acting as the U.S. representative today, told the Council it was not bound by the Moroccan proposal. He said the American Government would reserve judgment on that proposal made verbally by Morocco until it had an opportunity to study the written text.
In closing the meeting, Jacinto Castel Borja, of the Philippines, this month’s president of the Security Council, called upon both Syria and Israel to cooperate fully with the Chief of Staff of the UNTSO and specifically to undertake a mutual exchange of prisoners as proposed by Gen, Bull. In his post ballot remarks, Mr. Comay announced that he has been authorized by his government to state that Israel “would welcome the immediate and simultaneous exchange of all the detainees including the three Israelis abducted by Syria on July 17.” Mr. Comay was referring to an incident on Lake Tiberias when Syrians captured six persons on a boat on the lake. The Syrians have since released three Belgians who were among the kidnaped but are still detaining the three Israelis taken from the boat.
The failure of the Anglo-American resolution to pass juridically was regretted in a statement to the Council by Mr. Yost. He noted that “the Security Council was unable to act because a veto by the Soviet Union blocked action voted by eight members.” This failure, he said, does not detract from the majority opinion of the Council. ” He also called on both Syria and Israel to cooperate with UNTSO and endorsed the prisoner exchange proposal.