Washington (Feb. 17)
The position taken by the “Non-Aligned Movement” to deprive Israel of its credentials in the United Nations General Assembly met with a sharp rebuff and a warning from the U.S. today that such action would have “the gravest consequences” for the “future of the United Nations itself.”
The “Non-Aligned Movement, ” in a communique from New Delhi on Feb. 13, urged member states to vote against accepting the credentials of Israeli delegations at the next meeting of the UN and its specialized agencies. That action was similar to the declaration at the Islamic summit conference held in Saudi Arabia last month. The non-aligned countries form a majority in the UN. If member-states accepted the New Delhi communique, Israel could be deprived of its vote in the UN.
U.S. CITES ‘ABSURD FORMULATIONS’
Responding to questions about the communique, State Department spokesman William Dyess said today in a prepared statement: “it is our view that the Mideast part of the communique contains a number of absurd formulations. I will not take them up point by point but I will note, so that there will be no misunderstanding on the part of anyone, that any challenge to Israel’s credentials in the UN General Assembly would be illegal and a violation of the UN Charter. As you know, membership questions are dealt with not by the General Assembly but by the Security Council.”
The U.S. “would oppose any such challenge in the firmest and most vigorous way,” Dyess said. “Such action, if it is pressed, would have the gravest consequences for U.S. participation in the General Assembly and for the future of the UN itself. Our strong hope is that reason will prevail. If not, those who support this course will have to live with the consequences of their actions. In other words, we will oppose any move from any quarter to expel Israel from any international body and, most explicitly, from the UN.”
Dyess declined to spell out the “grave consequences” he mentioned or to outline U.S. views beyond what was contained in his statement.