See U Thant Statement As Bid to Arabs to Recognize Israel

Secretary-General U Thant’s statement yesterday that “there is imperative need for making a fresh search for peace in the Middle East so that the rights of all countries in the area may be respected” was interpreted here today by U.N. observers as advice to the Arab states to recognize the existence of Israel.

Mr. Thant’s remarks were made in the course of an address to a world conference of Quakers at Greensboro, N.C., reviewing the prospects of peace. Diplomats here noted that one of the major difficulties in the Middle East situation was the refusal of the Arab states to recognize the existence of Israel and to accord it the rights of a sovereign state. They took Mr. Thant’s statement as advice to the Arab states to change this stand.

The Arab states meanwhile were awaiting the outcome of a meeting of their foreign ministers at Khartoum to determine their next strategy moves. It was considered likely here that the Arab states probably Jordan–would ask for a meeting of the Security Council soon to consider the Jerusalem situation in the light of the two General Assembly resolutions bidding Israel to restore the former status of the city.

Ambassador Roger Seydoux of France becomes President of the Security Council tomorrow for the month of August, succeeding the Ethiopian Ambassador E. Makonnen. The Arab states and the Soviet Union, it was believed, were awaiting the change in the presidency before seeking resumption of the debates on the Middle East situation.

Representatives here of several Latin American states did not conceal their concern and anger over the fact that representatives of Egypt, Syria and Algeria were taking part in a “tri-continental solidarity conference” in Havana, sponsored by Fidel Castro, aimed at encouraging and assisting movements for the overthrew of the governments in a number of Latin American countries. President Nasser has invited the conference to hold its meeting in Cairo next year.

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