Jordan Backs Down on Council Debate

A move by Jordan to request a Security Council meeting on Israeli practices in East Jerusalem came to a halt today. A decision, according to informed sources, was reportedly reached in Amman not to call for such a meeting at least until after a summit conference of Arab states that starts Friday. The reason for this decision, sources noted is the present disunity among Arab states despite the new confederation and the growing lukewarm response to such a meeting on the part of the United States, the Soviet Union and Egypt.

The major stumbling block for these three countries is the fear that a Security Council debate may lead to an attempt on the part of other Arab states, notably Syria, to reword the Council Resolution 242 which the U.S., Soviet Union and Egypt say they accept as the basis for a Mideast settlement. Syria has not accepted the resolution. In addition, Egypt also fears that any move to reword the resolution to produce an evident anti-Israeli stance would imperil any chance of reopening the Suez Canal.

The Soviet Union is further cool to a Council debate, according to some observers, because its current moves to establish unofficial contacts with Israelis would imperil that policy. A Council debate would force the Soviet Union to associate itself with the more extremist Arab positions. Meanwhile, Egypt was reported preparing a request for a full debate on the Middle East at the General Assembly which begins its fall session Sept. 21. According to a report in Al Ahram. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad will arrive next week in New York to represent Egypt in the General Assembly debate.

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