UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (May. 14)
Syria this weekend complained to Secretary General U Thant that the latter’s remarks last Thursday, condemning Damascus-backed El Fatah terrorists, had encouraged Israel to threaten the use of force against Syria.
Ambassador George J. Tomeh, Syrian permanent representative at the United Nations, during a 50-minute meeting with Mr. Thant, cited the Secretary General’s remarks at a luncheon of the United Nations Correspondents Association, in which Mr. Thant described the El Fatah terrorists as “insidious, contrary to armistice agreements.” The Syrian envoy complained to Mr. Thant that statements by Israeli leaders since May 1 “contain a very clear threat of the use of force against Syria.” Mr. Tomeh said today that his meeting with the Secretary General followed conferences with representatives of other Arab States, and might be followed by a call for a meeting of the Security Council.
Commenting on the Syrian complaint, a United Nations spokesman said that the Secretary General’s remarks last Thursday, describing the El Fatah activities in Israel as “very deplorable,” could not be interpreted as condoning force by any party. He noted Mr. Thant’s appeal to all parties to observe the armistice agreements.