UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Nov. 19)
The United States which, a week ago, introduced a draft resolution in the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee dealing with the Arab refugee question, is watering down its own weak draft further under pressure of the Arab members.
The revised U.S. draft will call upon the Palestine Conciliation Commission to intensify its efforts to implement Paragraph 11 of a 1948 Assembly resolution which calls for “repatriation” of the refugees into Israel or their compensation. The third alternative solution to the refugee problem involving resettlement of the refugees in Arab countries and their integration into the Arab Middle East economy, will be entirely ignored in the revised U.S. draft.
The U.S. delegation changed its course after Anton Atalla, Foreign Minister of Jordan, threatened vigorously that the Arab states will positively vote against the early American draft which had already been considered quite weak by friends of Israel.
Meanwhile, however, 18 members of the United Nations today introduced a resolution calling upon the General Assembly to renew “its appeal to the governments concerned to undertake direct negotiations–with the assistance of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine, if they so desire–with a view to finding an agreed solution for the question of the Arab refugees.”
Eighteen members including nine African states, five from Latin America and four West Europeans–Denmark, Iceland, Luxembourg and The Netherlands–were the initial co-sponsors of this draft. It became known later today that at least three more members–Liberia, Upper Volta and Cameroon–will bring this list of co-sponsors to 21. There is a third draft resolution before the Committee sponsored on behalf of the Arab states by three Moslem members–Afghanistan, Indonesia and Pakistan.