UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Sep. 27)
A series of speakers in the United Nations General Assembly’s general debate stressed today the need for solution of the Middle East problem and called for an active United Nations role in bringing about an Arab-Israel peace. Several of the speakers, including the Canadian representative, spoke in favor of appointment of a special U.N. representative in the Middle East as proposed by Secretary-General U Thant.
Paul Martin, Canadian Minister for External Affairs, told the Assembly that while the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied areas was vital, it “must be related to the other issues involved.” These he defined as “respect for the territorial integrity of all the nations in the area and the ending of claims to belligerency, respect for the rights of all nations to innocent passage through international waterways, justice for the refugees and arrangement for the preservation of the special spiritual and religious interests in Jerusalem involving, I would hope, some form of international supervision by the United Nations.”
The Canadian foreign minister also called for an international program of regional economic development that would provide a basis for solution of the refugee problem. The foreign ministers of Argentina, Belgium and Senegal stressed the role of the United Nations in seeking a Middle East solution, with the Argentinian spokesman urging an Israeli withdrawal, cessation of belligerency and revocation of Israel’s measures on the status of Jerusalem. Habib Bourguiba Jr., Tunisian Foreign Minister, espoused the Tito plan for a Middle East settlement and said a first condition was Israel’s withdrawal.
The Kingdom of Jordan, it was learned today, was seeking support for a meeting of the Security Council to hear complaints against Israel for resettling the Etzion bloc in formerly Jordanian-held territory.
Israel today, in a letter to the president of the Security Council, rejected Egyptian charges it had been guilty of seven acts of aggression in the Suez Canal area, declared that the responsibility for the incidents lay with the Egyptian forces and reaffirmed its policy “to abide strictly by its cease-fire undertaking on the basis of complete reciprocity.”