Blum Assails UN Assembly President

Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Blum sharply attacked today the President of the General Assembly, Ismat Kittani of Iraq, charging him with “misconduct and abuse of office.”

Blum leveled his charges at a press conference here. He said that during the last three months, since Kittani was elected Assembly President, the Iraqi diplomat abused his office more than once in its treatment of Israel.

The latest incident, Blum pointed out, occured yesterday when Kittani refused to step down as the Assembly President at Israel’s request. Israel based its request, Blum noted, on the “unprecedented step” taken last week by Kittani who left the General Assembly to attend the Arab summit in Fez, Morocco.

In addition, Kittani made a statement at the summit on behalf of the General Assembly without authorization. Israel, therefore demanded yesterday, at the beginning of the debate on the “Question of Palestine,” that Kittani not preside over the debate. According to Blum, many diplomats and UN officials feel that Kittani’s attendance at the Arab summit damaged the office of the Presidency of the General Assembly.

The Israeli envoy cited two other cases of “misconduct” by Kittani: when he refused to see Blum in his capacity as the Assembly President and when he did not step down, as Israel requested, during the debate on Israel’s attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor.

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