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U.N. Debate on Arab Refugees Starts Today; Golda Meir in New York

The annual debate on the Arab refugee question–the major issue affecting Israeli-Arab issues directly on this year’s General Assembly agenda–is scheduled to open here tomorrow in the Assembly’s Special Political Committee.

In addition to the fully accredited delegations representing the Arab states that are members of the United Nations, a so-called “Palestine Arab Delegation” of 16 or 17 will appear before the committee with a demand that it be seated as the representation for the “Arab people.” This so-called delegation will be led by Ahmad Shukairy, ousted a year ago from his post as Saudi Arabian delegation chief here. It is expected that, while the Shukairy group will not be seated as a fully accredited delegation, its individual members will be given a voice–but not a vote–in the debate.

Israel will be ready for the debate with a strong delegation, to be headed once more by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister. She arrived in New York tonight to assume this post. (Prior to her departure from Israel for New York, today, Mrs. Meir told newsmen at Lydda Airport: “The Arab refugee problem would not exist if the Arab states wanted to solve it in a constructive way, and absorb them as Israel has absorbed over a million immigrants, taught them skills and settled them.”)

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