U.S. Pessimistic That UN Will Enact Convention to Combat Terrorism

The State Department indicated today that little practical head-way towards enactment of a convention to combat international terrorism is seen at the current session of the United Nations General Assembly despite the intensive efforts by Secretary of State William P. Rogers.

At the instructions of President Nixon after the killing of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich six weeks ago, the Secretary undertook widespread activities for an international accord and spoke out for an agreement at several international forums and in discussions with numerous foreign ministers both at the UN and in Washington. Most Arab and African states have opposed a convention despite an appeal for concerted efforts against terrorists by the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.

In his bilateral conversations with foreign diplomats, Rogers has always brought up the importance the US attaches to “early and concrete action” by the UN against terrorism. State Department spokesman Charles Bray said today. He indicated that the American draft convention at the UN could easily be adopted if nations were willing. Bray said that most of the proposals in it are “sanctioned by national law in almost every country of the world.”

Bray said the US was “pleased” with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko’s statement against terrorism but declined to comment on Rogers’ discussions with him or with the Lebanese and Egyptian Foreign Ministers.

The “upshot” of the conversations the Secre- tary has had at the UN, Bray said, have provided “better understanding as to precisely what it is the US is seeking in response to the Secretary General’s initiative and perhaps equally important what our draft convention does not cover.” The latter comment was understood to be in reference to the fear of African states that a convention against terrorism might lead to intervention in their countries.

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