U.N. Secretary General Rejects Jordan’s Request Aimed at Israel
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U.N. Secretary General Rejects Jordan’s Request Aimed at Israel

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Secretary-General U Thant today rejected a request by Jordan for early submission to the Security Council of a full report about the implementation of the four armistice agreements in existence since 1949 between Israel, on the one hand, and the four Arab signatories to those agreements –Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt –on the other.

Such a comprehensive report, Mr. Thant informed Jordan, would be “huge, totaling many thousands of pages, and, to my mind, would be unreadable and could serve no useful purpose.” Furthermore, the Secretary-General stated, the United Nations does not have the staff or the budget for the undertaking.

Jordan, which is now a member of the Security Council, made its request last week for “a report describing in detail how far the armistice agreements are being applied along the demarcation lines and in all the demilitarized zones, and how far the armistices had been observed by the parties concerned.”

Muhammad H. E1-Farra, the Jordanian Ambassador here, reminded Mr. Thant that he had promised the Security Council in September of 1963 to furnish such a report, to have been compiled by Maj. Gen. Odd Bull, chief of staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. UNTSO military officers serve as chairmen of four Mixed Armistice Commissions on which Israel and each of the four Arab states that signed the original armistice agreements are represented.


In his reply to Mr. E1-Farra, Mr. Thant pointed out that in only one of these four MAC units, that involving Jordan and Israel, there were outstanding, as of July 17, 1964, a total of 679 Israeli complaints and 4, 469 Jordan grievances. Other United Nations sources, enlarging on the Secretary-General’s figures, said today that more than 100, 000 complaints and counter-complaints were included by the middle of 1964 in the files of all four MAC agendas.

Reports on all of the UNTSO and MAC investigations and decisions since 1949, Mr. Thant informed the Jordanian envoy, would be “voluminous and often include many photographs, sketches and maps, and all of the decisions of the four Mixed Armistice Commissioners run into many hundreds.” If the reports of each issue were to be reduced to mere, single-page summaries, the task would still be forbidding, the Secretary-General told the Jordanian.

“In the circumstances, “Mr. Thant stressed, “I am sure that you will readily understand my inability at present to be very precise about a completion deadline for this report. I may only assure you that we will proceed with its preparation to the best of our ability and resources.”

Jordan pursued the issue of a comprehensive report from UNTSO because it has threatened to call for a Security Council meeting as a result of Israeli army raids into two Jordanian villages 10 days ago, when Israeli soldiers blew up a number of Jordanian homes that had been used as bases by members of E1 Fatah. The latter is an Arab League terrorist group conducting sabotage raids into Israel. Israel had stated officially that E1 Fatah operations are conducted out of headquarters in Syria but most often carried out from bases in Jordan.

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