SANTIAGO, Chile (Apr. 16)
Israel failed to get an item dealing with the Suez Canal removed from the agenda of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) here over the week-end but Israel’s protest was not stricken from the agenda as demanded by the Arab delegates.
The item was titled “The Economic Effects of the Closure of the Suez Canal.”
Israel’s delegate, Gideon Rafael, argued that its wording had political implications and that its discussion would introduce sterile political disputes and divert attention from the main points on the agenda. The Libyan delegate, A. El-Atrash, claimed that the situation at the canal and the continued occupation of Arab territories east of it caused the total disruption of economic development in that area and threatened not only Egypt but all developing countries with a cruel form of economic strangulation.
The Egyptian delegate insisted that the subject of the agenda item was directly connected with trade and development and the Algerian delegate asked that Israel’s objections be deleted from the record. Clodomiro Almeyda, the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs who was elected president of UNCTAD, ruled that the item be retained since no formal motion had been made to the contrary. But he said all interventions on the matter would be included in the records.
Earlier the Afghanistani delegate, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravan Farhadi, claimed that it was essential to deprive Israel of control of the Suez Canal. Yesterday, the heads of all delegations, including Rafael, attended a reception given by President Salvador Allende.