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U.S. Conducting Quiet Talks with Arabs and Israel on Refugee Issue

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The United States Government has been conducting “quiet talks” with Arab and Israeli leaders at “a high level” in an effort to find some solution to the Arab refugee problem, the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission reported to the General Assembly here today. The U.S. talks were held on its initiative but as a member of the PCC, which is composed of representatives of the U.S.A., France and Turkey.

According to today’s report, the U.S.A., as a member of the Commission, proposed early this year that “it might initiate a series of quiet talks with the parties concerned–Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Arab Republic.” The U.S. proposal, the Commission stated, was that the five governments concerned “should be approached at a high level and without preconditions as to the nature of the eventual solution of the problem. The Commission agreed to this approach, and has been kept generally informed of the progress of these talks with Arab and Israel leaders during the past spring and summer.”

“Recently,” the Commission stated, “the United States informed the Commission that, in its opinion, the talks have been useful. All sides had shown good will, a desire to achieve progress on the refugee problem, and a desire to continue the talks, which are not yet completed.” The Commission reported it had requested continuation of the talks, and expressed “confidence” that “every effort will be made in the continuation of these talks” to advance the Assembly’s desire that some progress be shown toward a possible solution of the refugee issue.

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