Security Council Gets Six-nation Resolution Reprimanding Syria

A six-nation resolution was introduced into the Security Council today as a substitute for the Anglo-American draft in the current debate on Israel’s complaint against Syrian-backed terrorism inside Israel. The new resolution, which is the consensus of six Security Council members considered “neutral” in the debate over the El Fatah attacks, is expected to be voted on tomorrow when the Council will continue its deliberations on tension along the Israel-Syrian border.

The new draft, like the Anglo-American resolution, “deplores” the incidents and the loss of life which formed the basis for Israel’s complaint to the Security Council. The six-nation resolution also “invited” Syria to “strengthen its measures for preventing incidents that constitute a violation of the General Armistice Agreement.” The similar clause in the Anglo-American resolution was somewhat stronger in its language in that it “reminded 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.

The draft introduced today also “invited” Israel “to cooperate fully with the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission.” Israel has not participated in any meetings of the Israel-Syrian MAC since 1951, contending that the body was not competent to deal with issues pertaining to the Demilitarized Zone. The six nations submitting today’s draft were Argentina, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria and Uganda.

Today’s measure also urged Syria and Israel “to refrain from any action that might increase tension in the area” and called upon the two governments “to facilitate the work of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization personnel in their tasks of observation and investigation on both sides of the armistice demarcation line.”

Omitted entirely from today’s draft was a clause in the Anglo-American resolution calling for strict adherence to the article in the 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.” However, J. G. de Beus, the delegate of the Netherlands, one of the co-sponsor of the resolution, declared in his statement to the Council that the clause in the six-nation draft calling on the two governments to refrain from increasing tension referred also to inflammatory statements and he specifically cited recent statements by Syrian leaders that were in this category.

In formally placing today’s resolution before the Council, Apollo K. Kironde of Uganda said that the measure was ‘the best that could be done to obtain a consensus in view of the “sharp reaction” to the Anglo-American draft and that the six delegations felt that no purpose would be served in condemning either party. Stressing the need for cooperation by both sides, he said that if cooperation were not forthcoming “perhaps the time has come to develop new machinery” to keep the peace in the area.

ISRAELI DELEGATION WELCOMES THE SIX-NATIONS’ INITIATIVE

Israeli delegation sources welcomed the initiative of the six nations in introducing the new resolution and noted that the resolution reprimands Syria and finds that country responsible for the El Fatah terrorist activities.

Prior to the second Council session reconvened today, Ambassador Michael Comay, Israel’s chief delegate, circulated a letter among the Council members calling attention to the latest incidents, including the sabotage of a water pipeline in the Negev four days ago and the mining of a civilian truck on Tuesday.

Before this morning’s session, Secretary-general U Thant presented a report to the Council requested by the Jordanian delegate on the status of the demilitarized zone along the Israel-Syrian border. The report stated that both parties had made daily complaints that the other side had encroached on the demilitarized zone with fortifications and strong points.

Simultaneous inspections of the demilitarized zone and of the defensive areas arranged during periods of tension, the report continued, did not allow an adequate visit to the alleged fortifications in the zone.

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