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Thant Mum on the Document; Egyptians Claim Lack of Knowledge

U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, who ordered the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force troops from the Gaza area and Egyptian territory at the request of President Nasser of Egypt — without consulting either the General Assembly or the Security Council — was silent today on the document published in the organ of the American Society of International Law indicating that the withdrawal of the UNEF troops could have been postponed or prevented.

The Egyptian delegation at the United Nations issued a statement today declaring that “at no time was the Government of Egypt, later the United Arab Republic, aware of the existence of the so-called memorandum by the late Mr. Hammarskjold of August 5, 1957; and consequently such a paper would have no legal or political binding on the Government of the United Arab Republic.”

The delegation’s statement declared that Egypt’s position regarding the establishment, functions and continuation of UNEF “has always been well-known.” The delegation stated that Egypt’s position regarding unef was regulated by an agreement the Egyptian Government had signed with the late Mr. Hammarskjold and that “this position was most clearly and formally expressed in the General Assembly, maintaining the entirety of Egypt’s rights.”