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Egypt’s Chief UN Delegate Has Instructions to Stand Firm on Full Israeli Withdrawal

Egypt sent its chief United Nations delegate flying back to New York today reportedly with instructions to stand firm on its demand that Israel be made to evacuate every inch of Arab territory occupied in the June, 1967 war. According to the report, Dr. Mohammed H. El-Zayyat, head of the Egyptian Mission to the UN, got his instructions from President Gamal Abdel Nasser at a meeting in Alexandria yesterday. The meeting was attended as well by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad, Dr. Ashraf Ghorbal, Cairo’s chief diplomatic representative in Washington and Mohammed Hassanein Heykal, Minister of National Guidance and editor of Cairo’s semi-official newspaper, Al Ahram. The Egyptian government has also reportedly rejected an Israeli offer of a prisoner-of-war exchange while the Suez cease-fire is in effect. The offer was said to have been transmitted to Egypt through the United States. But Al Ahram reported yesterday that Egypt will not repatriate the 12 Israelis, including six airmen, until there is a final settlement. Israel holds 69 Egyptian prisoners, 62 of the of them soldiers.

In another development, the Algerian government has reportedly informed Cairo that it intends to withdraw two battalions of troops stationed along the Suez Canal, consisting of about 2000 men. The move appeared to be a reflection of Algeria’s opposition to Egypt’s acceptance of the cease-fire and other elements of the American peace initiative. (At the United Nations in New York, spokesmen said today that Ambassador Gunnar V. Jerring was still awaiting word from Israel and Jordan on naming representatives from their countries to begin the peace talks. Dr. Jarring is reported to be anxious to begin the talks as soon as possible. He reportedly met with the ambassadors from Israel, Egypt and Jordan yesterday to discuss with them their preferences for the site of the talks, when to begin and on what level. Israel’s Ambassador Yosef Tekoah said he was still awaiting instructions from his government and that clarification on these issues is expected within the next few days.)

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