Syria Postpones Security Council Hearing; Seeks Support for Anti-Israel Resolution

The Security Council postponed today’s scheduled Middle East deliberations until tomorrow afternoon on the request of Syria, which said it needed more time to prepare a resolution. The resolution, according to diplomatic sources, would condemn Israel officially for its military action into Lebanon last Tuesday; provide sanctions against Israel on the grounds that its actions endanger peace, and state that no military or civilian aid is to be given to member nations occupying territory of other member nations. The third point refers to Israel’s takeover of Arab areas in the Six-Day War. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned from diplomatic sources that Syria sought more time because it was having difficulty attracting an African or Asian co-sponsor for such a strong resolution. It was believed that, as it is apparently now worded, the resolution could not gain more than four votes in the 15-member Council–those of Syria herself, the Soviet Union, possibly Poland and possibly an African country like Zambia, which seconded last Tuesday’s unanimously approved Spanish resolution calling for immediate Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Syria, sources say, could easily have the USSR as co-sponsor–and may eventually do so–but it reportedly wants a non-Arab co-sponsor to demonstrate a broader-based support for the resolution. It is possible, diplomatic sources said, that Syria may temper the language of its resolution–perhaps reducing it to support for the UN cease-fire and for the resumption of the Jarring peace mission–in exchange for the acquisition of a co-sponsor. It is also possible that Syria may stand by its strongly worded resolution despite probable defeat in order to put its uncompromising position on the record. Secretary General U Thant was scheduled to meet this afternoon with Soviet Ambassador Yakob Malik. The subject of their discussion was not disclosed. A UN spokesman, asked about reports that 10 more observers were to be added to the UNTSO force at the Suez Canal, said he had no information on the matter. Mr. Thant had complained last week over the presence of only six UNTSO observers in that critical area.

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