State Department Says U.S. Will Support Access to UN War Crimes Files

The United States “will support broader access” to the files on Nazi war criminals and collaborators now held by the United Nations, the State Department said Thursday.

But, Department spokesman Charles Redman stressed that the U.S. was still studying how and to whom this should be done.

“We do believe that governments should continue to play a role in determining who should have access to the files,” Redman added. “we’re now reviewing the appropriate modalities that would be employed in the process.”

The U.S. is one of the 17 members of the war Crimes Commission which turned the files over to the UN after the creation of the world body. Redman noted that when the UN Secretary General receives a request to examine the files he must first receive permission from the commission members.

Israel has been seeking the right to look at the files. But Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar has so far only allowed it to examine 300 of the some 40,000 files because of objections from commission members.

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