Security Council Gets U.s.-british Draft Linking Syria with El Fatah

After numerous delays and much behind-the-scenes activity toward lining up the minimum nine votes necessary for the passage of a resolution linking Syria with the recent outbreak of El Fatah terrorist raids into Israel, the United States and British delegations at last placed their anti-Syrian draft on the table before the Security Council today.

The text of the resolution referred to Israel’s first letter of complaint against Syria more than two weeks ago, the statements made by the representatives of Israel and Syria, and the reports on the issue filed by Secretary-general U Thant. Then the resolution stated that the Council:

SYRIA ‘REMINDED’ OF OBLIGATION TO PREVENT TERRORIST BASES ON ITS TERRITORY

“Recognizing the imperative need for the Governments concerned to observe strictly their obligations under the Charter and the provisions of the General Armistice Agreements, noting that the El Fatah or El Asifah organization has been responsible for a long series of destructive raids into Israel; concerned at the danger to peace and security in the area:

“1. Deplores the incidents which have been subject of this debate as well as the loss of human life and casualties caused by them;

“2. Reminds the Government of Syria to fulfill its obligations by taking all measures to prevent the use of its territory as a base of operation for acts constituting a violation of the Armistice Agreement;

“3. Calls for strict adherence to Article III, No. 3 of the Syria-Israel General Armistice Agreement providing that no warlike act or act of hostility shall be conducted from the territory of one of the parties against other parties;

“4. Calls upon the governments of Syria and Israel, in the light of their statements to the Council, to cooperate fully with United Nations machinery, including the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission established under Article VII of the General Armistice Agreement, for the effective implementation of that agreement, in order to prevent incidents, and for the same purpose to facilitate the work of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization personnel in their tasks of observation and investigation on both sides of the Armistice Demarcation Line;

“5. Intends to consider further, as soon as possible in the interests of the promotion of lasting peace in the Middle East what steps could be taken on the broader question of Arab-Israeli relations;

“6. Requests the Secretary-General to follow closely the implementation of the present resolution and to take such measures as may be necessary to ensure that the Armistice Commission and the UNTSO can effectively fulfill the functions assigned to them.”

ISRAEL SEES DRAFT AS ‘POSITIVE’ ; ‘BIG THREE’ BACKING OF ISRAEL NOTED

A spokesman for the Israeli delegation here said, after the draft was issued, that Israel regarded the resolution as one that is “positive” in its nature, and that Israel would not reject the draft “out of hand.” It was noted that, in the debate that opened two weeks ago on Israel’s current grievance against Syria, 11 of the 15 members of the Security Council had expressed at least concern for Israel’s loss of lives and property, due to the terrorist raids, which have numbered about 65 since last January, all of them obviously engineered by Syria and taking place at or near the Syrian border. Some of the leading delegations, including the United States, Britain and France, had backed Israel’s grievances against Syria fully.

With the second stage of the issue having at last come to a head today, when the Anglo-American draft was handed to the Council, the body entered the third and final stage — a debate on the merits of the resolution, to be followed by voting. There was one more delay. The Council session, which was to have been convened this afternoon, was postponed until tomorrow morning. It is expected that two, possibly three, more sessions will have to be held before voting takes place.

It was still uncertain today whether the Soviet Union would exercise its right of veto in the Council when the balloting takes place. But it was made clear earlier, during the framing of the Anglo-American draft, that the Big Three Western powers were not bent on avoiding a Soviet veto this time, being prepared to be content with adoption of the measure by nine members. A Soviet veto would keep the resolution from becoming fully operative but would, it was pointed out, have a healthy psychological and moral effect by putting into concrete terms the policies of the nine-member majority.

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