LONDON (Aug. 31)
The rulers of Arab countries, now meeting at Khartoum, Sudan, were reported here today to be drafting a statement affirming their adherence to the United Nations Charter — a move which observers regard as an implied willingness to consider a political settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict, since the U.N. Charter supports the independence of all nations in the world organization, including Israel. The Arab states represented at the “summit meeting” have heretofore refused to recognize Israel.
President Nasser of Egypt and Jordan’s King Hussein reportedly told the summit meeting that a negotiated settlement of the Arab conflict with Israel might be necessary. Nasser was reported urging the other Arab rulers, for the first time, to seek a “political solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict by emphasizing that Egypt is nearly bankrupt economically and militarily, and that further military action against Israel would be plausible only if the other Arab states pooled their resources with him — or even half of their resources. No such commitment was expected by other delegates.
Nasser was reported as telling the other participants that, if no such pooling is decided upon, a political solution would be necessary. He did not go into the details of what the solution might be, but indicated that be would later summarize a compromise suggested by President Tito of Yugoslavia during his recent trip to the Middle East.
KING HUSSEIN BACKS NASSER ON ‘POLITICAL SOLUTION’ OF ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICT
King Hussein of Jordan backed Nasser’s compromise plan to settle the Israeli conflict, reportedly dropping hints at the closed-door session that he might have to negotiate a separate peace with the Israelis. The Arab states should “face realities and errors with manliness and frankness,” said Hussein. “Boasting of glory does not make glory,” added Hussein, “and singing in the dark does not dispel fear.”
At the same time, however, Hussein told the other Arab leaders that, while he takes pride in the manner his people had fought against the Israelis, “we are not blind to the gravity of allowing the situation to continue. Jordan believes a great catastrophe would result if our conference failed to agree on decisive measures guaranteeing Arab unity on a new and sound basis.”
A Beirut dispatch received here today reported that, in Damascus, an emergency congress was held by the Syrian, Socialist Baath Party, declaring that only “a war of liberation” could evict the Israelis from conquered Arab areas. The meeting decided that Syria should boycott the Khartoum meeting but should cooperate only with the “progressive Arab regimes.” The Baathists consider Algeria and Egypt as “progressive.”