U.N. Secretary-general Appoints Swiss Diplomat As Personal Envoy on Jerusalem Issue

Secretary-General U Thant today officially appointed Ernesto Thalmann, a Swiss diplomat, as his personal representative to Jerusalem. He said that Mr. Thalmann is leaving immediately for Jerusalem for a two-week stay “solely to obtain information as a basis for the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council and the General Assembly.”

Mr. Thant’s announcement followed talks he had held here with Israeli diplomats the last two weeks on the role his representative would play in the Jerusalem issue. The appointment was made as a consequence of a resolution adopted here recently by the emergency special session of the General Assembly, which had called on Israel to “rescind” its unification of Jerusalem and also requested that the Secretary-General send a personal representative to the city.

The Secretary-General said, in announcing Mr. Thalmann’s appointment, that he had received Israel’s assurance that it will cooperate with Mr. Thalmann’s mission and would give him all facilities and information he would require.

Informed sources here said that Israel made certain conditions before agreeing to accepting Mr. Thalmann’s appointment. These conditions reportedly included an assurance that the Jerusalem representative would report only on the general situation in unified Jerusalem; will make no inquiries on Israel’s lack of response to the Assembly’s call for “rescinding” unification; will work through the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem, who will arrange for him all appointments and provide him with all requested information; will not act as a “board of inquiry”; will report directly and privately to the Secretary-General, and that his report will not be made public as a United Nations document.

Israel has reportedly reserved to its own Government the right to report directly to Mr. Thant on the implementation of the General Assembly resolution. Israel was understood to regard the present situation in Jerusalem as a political issue to be discussed in the context of all the problems Israel wants to negotiate with the Arab states.

NEXT STORY