Jordan Differs from Other Arab States on Jerusalem, Envoy Says
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Jordan Differs from Other Arab States on Jerusalem, Envoy Says

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The question of the internationalization of Jerusalem today caused Jordan to disassociate itself from six other Arab League states which called on the State Department to prevent the transfer of the Israel Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Earlier today, the Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia called on Acting Secretary of State Walter Bedell Smith. Jordan was supposed to have been a member of this Arab League delegation but at the last moment dropped out.

The reason for her withdrawal is that the delegation cited what it termed United Nations decisions for internationalization of Jerusalem as arguments against Israel’s transfer of its Foreign Ministry. Jordan felt this would compromise her own stand against internationalization. Jerusalem is now jointly occupied by Jordan and Israel.

Jordanian Minister Yusif Haikal made a separate call later in the day on John D. Jarnegan, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. His purpose was to discuss Jordan’s views on the Israel Foreign Ministry transfer. After talking with Jernegan he was questioned by a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the Jerusalem internationalization issue and it was then that he explained that he had not been a party to the Arab League move earlier in the day. He said his government was against “any kind of internationalization.”

Mr. Haikal said he felt Jerusalem was part of the “whole Palestine problem” and that “this problem should be solved all together and not piece-by-piece.” He said Israel had no right to move her Foreign Ministry because Jordan opposed “piece-by-piece solution.”


The heads of Arab missions, excluding Jordan, issued a statement after meeting with Secretary Smith which stressed the considerations “that led the United Nations to decide three times by more than two-thirds majorities that the whole Jerusalem area be lifted from political controversy and made international.” The Arab delegation said it trusted that the U. S. “will take into full account that internationalization” is already thrice decided by the world organization; that this decision covers not just the so-called ‘city of Jerusalem’ but the entire ‘area of Jerusalem’; that it is not a partial internationalization of the Holy Places, but a territorial internationalization whereby the whole area is set aside as a corpus separatum; and that to refer to the Israeli transfer of their Foreign Ministry to Jerusalem as just ‘inopportune at this time’ is to fly in the face of these solemn decisions of the U. N.”

A warning was made by the Arab delegation that “it would be disastrous if, in place of proceeding to implement the decisions of the United Nations, attempts should be made to alter these decisions themselves.” Since Jordan is as much opposed to the total territorial internationalization of the entire Jerusalem as is Israel, it was clear to observers here that Jordan would not join in these views put forth by the six other Arab states.

It was noted, however, that when the Arab League delegation called on Secretary Smith, the delegation’s spokesman said Jordan was a member. Mr. Haikal stressed that he was not a party to the delegation nor to any statement issued by it.

The Arab League told Secretary Smith that “the real choice before the world” is “between allowing Israel to get away with its unilateral acts, thus perpetrating a dangerous state of tension, and establishing an international center where understanding and concord have a chance to develop among all believers in God.”

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