Security Council Debate Postponed; U.S. Hopes Debate Will Not Compromise Prospects for Interim Settl

The long awaited Security Council debate on Jerusalem, formally requested yesterday by Jordan and scheduled to begin this afternoon, was postponed today on the insistence of Syria, a non-permanent member of the Council. The delay was asked until after the Arab League meeting in Cairo which, it was hoped, would end before Friday. State Department sources said today that the debate was postponed because the Arab states were in the process of concerting their position on the issue. Diplomatic sources said that Syria, a militant member of the Arab League, was dissatisfied with the relatively moderate terms Jordan has adopted to win American support for the draft resolution it intends to submit to the Security Council. Syria was also said to be demanding that the Security Council take up Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights as well as the Jerusalem question.

State Department spokesman Charles Bray expressed “hope” today that nothing would transpire in the course of the Security Council discussions that might compromise prospects for an interim or overall settlement in the Middle East. He said that objective of the U.S. has been made known to all parties concerned. Asked about reports that the U.S. had collaborated with Jordan in drafting a resolution for the Security Council, Bray said the U.S. has been in “continuing and close touch with the parties on this subject for a good while.”

State Department sources indicated that the U.S. has been concerned over a Security Council debate on Jerusalem at this time but could not avoid having the issue raised if other countries wanted to raise it. The sources stressed that the U.S. wanted to use its influence in constructive rather than negative areas with relation to the overall issue of a Mideast settlement. The sources refused to say whether Secretary of State William P. Rogers had made any commitment to King Hussein of Jordan on the issue when he visited Amman last spring or whether the U.S. would support Jordan’s draft resolution.

Other sources said the U.S. would support the draft because Jordan had moderated its language. The draft would have the Security Council “deplore” Israel’s failure to respect previous resolutions on Jerusalem rather than “censure” or “condemn” it. It “requests” the Secretary General to send a representative to report within 60 days on the situation in Jerusalem instead of “calling upon” him to do so. This is not mandatory language in UN terms so Israel would not be violating the Charter by refusing to receive a UN mission as she is expected to do.

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