Big Four Reach Stalemate on Issue of Declaration of Intent, Post Reports

The Big Four have reached the first impasse in their talks on the Middle East, the New York Post reported today. According to the Post’s United Nations reporter Midhael J. Berlin, they disagree about a declaration of intent to carry out the provisions of the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution.

The Anglo-American position is that the Arab governments should declare their intent to end the state of belligerency and pledge to respect Israel’s right to exist within recognized and secure borders before Israel declares its intent to withdraw to agreed borders, Mr. Berlin said. The Soviet Union and France insist however that Israel’s intent to withdraw must come first, and the two powers wish to enter into the substance of defining specifically the extent of Israel’s withdrawal, Mr. Berlin wrote.

According to the report, the difficulty arose at a meeting of the deputy ambassadors of the Four Powers last Thursday. The deputies were assigned the task of working up the draft declarations which Israel, Jordan and Egypt would be asked to sign. The Big Four powers held their third meeting yesterday at the Manhattan residence of the British Ambassador. Lord Caradon. They will hold a fourth meeting at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Charles Yost on Thursday.

The Post reported that the U.S. holds that the declarations would not be carried out until the borders themselves are defined–”by a process,” it adds,”that has not yet itself been defined.” Meetings of the deputies have been put off until the stalemate is resolved, at least until after Thursday’s Big Four session, the Post cited diplomatic sources as saying.

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