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New U. N. Truce Chief Hopes Palestine Situation Will Improve

August 13, 1954
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Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns, newly appointed chief of the United Nations truce supervisory organization in Palestine, today told a press conference here that he felt the Anglo-Egyptian agreement regarding the Suez Canal would bring about an improvement in the atmosphere of the Middle East and “one would hope that it would have an effect on the Palestine situation. ” He also expressed the hope that Israel would return to the Israel-Jordan Armistice Commission – which Israel has boycotted for several months.

Gen. Burns, who succeeds Maj. Gen. Vagn Bennike, said he would be leaving for the Middle East at the end of this week and expected to arrive in Jerusalem on August 19. He revealed that he would visit the capitals of the states involved in the Palestine armistice agreements with Gen. Bennike.

The new UN truce chief found the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission action in wiping the slate clean of charges and counter-charges “an encouraging development. ” “I hope to keep that slate clean, ” he stated. He has spent his time here, he said, in interviewing and seeing the Secretary-General and the delegates from Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria, as well as studying documents on the Israel-Arab situation provided him by the United Nations Secretariat.

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