UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 31)
Intense informal consultations regarding the composition of the United Nations Emergency Force took place today among members of the Security Council. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s main difficulty in composing the force is that the United States is opposed to participation of Warsaw Pact countries and the Soviet Union is against troops coming from North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations.
Israel is said to oppose troops from countries which are hostile to her or do not have diplomatic relations with her. This would rule out most African countries who have recently broken diplomatic relations with Israel.
A UN spokesman revealed today that there have been offers from some Warsaw Pact countries to participate in UNEF. But he declined to say whether the offers were accepted or rejected, commenting “they are still pending.” He said consultations are still going on in regard to U.S. and Soviet observers. Meanwhile, UNEF has as of today 2315 of the 7000 troops approved by the Security Council for the emergency force. They come from Austria, Finland and Sweden.
Waldheim reported today that the three countries “responded affirmatively” to his request to bring up their contingents to the strength of an effective working battalion, about 800 men. Finland will send an additional 640 men by Nov. 6 to join the 216 Finnish troops already there. Sweden will add 350 to its 120 troops by Nov. 4. Austria will add 319 to the 181 it has in the Mideast.
Ireland will send 250 men in addition to the 140 previously promised from Cyprus, Waldheim reported. The Irish contingent is already starting to move from Cyprus. A Canadian logistic team will also shortly be leaving for the area, according to the Secretary General. Waldheim also reported that the Finnish troops are firmly established in Suez City and vicinity and the Swedish troops are in the Ismailia area. The Austrian contingent, based in Cairo, is being used for special tasks including patrols southwest of Suez.
The initial activities have involved supervision of the cease-fire, in cooperation with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization observers. So far, the report said, relatively few incidents have been observed and these have been of minor importance. The emergency force is continuing to bring supplies through Israel-held territory to the encircled Egyptian Third Army. As of yesterday 40 UN trucks have brought food and medicine to the Egyptians.Embassy tomorrow morning before she goes to the White House, will be in Rabat, Morocco Nov. 5 and goes to Cairo the next day. Afterwards he will visit Amman, Jordan, Riad, Saudi Arabia and Teheran, Iran. He will leave Teheran Nov. 9 for Peking. But Sisco and two other top U.S. Middle East experts–Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Leroy Atherton, and Howard Saunders, a Mideast authority with the National Security Council–will travel back to Kuwait, Beirut, Lebanon and finally to Tel Aviv.
The announced U.S. purpose of the visits is to discuss with leaders of the Middle East nations ways for a “just and lasting peace.” It must be noted–the major oil producers are on the itinerary.
The principal purpose of Mrs. Meir’s visit is not on specifics of such issues as the POWs or the blockade, important as they are, but on a Presidential pledge that on every matter Israel will be consulted by the United States and that Washington obtains Israeli consent before the President takes actions that affect Israel’s fate in his formula for peace in the Middle East and for obtaining oil for America, Europe and Japan while blocking the USSR from the Indian Ocean.
On Friday Mrs. Meir will meet in Washington with some 250 Jewish leaders representing the 31 constituent groups of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.