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Security Council Resumes Mideast Debate Today; General Assembly Suspension Deplore

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The Security Council will reconvene on the Middle East problem tomorrow morning with Syria and Britain scheduled to speak. The British delegation disclose that it is preparing a “compromise” text for presentation to the Security Council, designed to secure maximum agreement. A spokesman for the British delegation noted that Britain has not committed itself to any of the draft resolutions submitted to the Council so far. Lord Caradon, head of the Brit U.N. Mission, met in the last few days with Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Mahmoud Riad, Foreign Minister of Egypt. This morning, he conferred with Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vassily V. Kuznetsov.

The entire United Nations showed restiveness over the Middle East crisis today, now that both Israel and the Arab states have taken Security Council positions deemed firmer and more antagonise than ever. Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban asserted firmly in the Council yesterday that Israel never return to the old, 1949 armistice regime, no matter what the consequences. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Abdul Monem Rifai hinted that, if Israel does not withdraw its troops occupying areas taken from the Arab states in the June war, the Arabs may be “compelled” to resume the war.

Thus, with the chips down, there was much uncertainty whether the Council would be able to ad either of the two principal resolutions before it, one a Soviet-Arab document co-sponsored by India. Mali and Nigeria; the other a United States draft which falls short of acceptance by the Arabs and m not please Israel either.

In the background, in addition to the British plan, there is another move, by Japan, a member of the Council, to work out a resolution, “which, it has been indicated, would displease Israel. And the Latin American bloc is hoping to get passage for a defeated resolution submitted by the South Americans last summer, tying Israel’s troop withdrawal to Arab renunciation of belligerence.

While all this was going on, however, the General Assembly was in recess, a hiatus called over a month ago by the Assembly’s president, Corneliu Manescu, of Rumania, to give the Security Council another chance to reach accord on a Mideast resolution acceptable to all concerned. The Assembly still has much business to do. More than half of its lengthy agenda has not even been debated during the period since October, when no plenary sessions could be held. Delegates, almost all 122 of them, was to get back to “regular business,” and feel stymied by the Security Council’s failure to reach any agreement.

For example, one issue that always generates much heat in the Assembly — and is sure to raise a storm again this year — is the admission of Communist China to U.N. membership. As long as the Mideast crisis continues to tie up the Assembly, as a result of the Security Council’s failure to act, this issue — among many others deemed of great importance to the world community — cannot even be touched.

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