Israel Ready for Immediate Peace Talks with Egypt; Notifies U. N.
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Israel Ready for Immediate Peace Talks with Egypt; Notifies U. N.

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Israel early today accepted the special General Assembly’s resolution calling for a cease-fire in its armed conflict with Egypt. The acceptance, however, was based on a condition that the Cairo Government give the United Nations a similar assurance.

At the same time Israel also notified the Assembly formally that it is ready to send representatives “forthwith” to negotiate peace directly with Egypt and other Arab states.

Israel also gave formal notice of its “deep concern” over the entry of Iraqi and Syrian troops into Jordan. These troops are entering Jordan, Israel told the Assembly, for the avowed purpose of helping Egypt in “an aggressive military pact aimed at Israel’s destruction.”

While these steps were being taken by Israel, the 76-nation General Assembly, at an all-night emergency meeting called to deal with the Israel-Egypt conflict, as well as with the Franco-British attack against Egypt, took the following steps:

1. Initiated machinery for the possible recruitment, within 48 hours, of an international police force “to secure and supervise cessation of hostilities” in the Middle East in accordance with last week’s resolution.

2. Gave Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold 12 hours to report on whether he and his truce supervision forces in Palestine had succeeded in obtaining a cease-fire, halting all troop movements, and getting Israels agreement to withdraw its armed forces behind the old Israel-Egypt armistice lines. Mr. Hammarskjold announced he would have the report by 6 o’clock this evening, and that another emergency meeting would be held at 8 o’clock tonight.

3. Tabled a resolution proposed by U.S. delegate Henry Cabot Lodge for a new five-member committee to consult with Israel and the Arab states “with a view to establishing conditions of permanent peace and stability in the area.”


Mr. Lodge’s committee proposal collapsed when Canada’s Minister for External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, presented the resolution requesting Mr. Hammarskjold to submit to the Assembly within 48 hours, “a plan for the setting up, with the consent of the nations concerned, of an emergency international United Nations force to secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities” in accordance with all the terms of last week’s resolution.

Mr. Lodge himself took the floor immediately after Mr. Pearson introduced his resolution. The Washington representative asked that the Canadian proposal be given priority over the U.S. draft. When Mr. Pearson’s resolution came to a vote, 57 members favored it. No negative votes were cast, although 18 members, including Israel, abstained.

Immediately after the resolution calling for a police force was adopted, another vote was taken. This time, the balloting was on a resolution introduced by India, on behalf of 19 members of the Afro-Asian bloc, giving Mr. Hammarskjold 12 hours to report on compliance with last weeks recommendations for a cease-fire and withdrawal of armed forces to points behind the old armistice lines. Fifty-nine members voted in favor of this proposal, with five against it, and 12 abstaining, Those who voted against the motion were Israel, France, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Canada, though a member of the British Commonwealth, voted for the resolution.


Abba S. Eban, chairman of the Israel delegation, indicated that Israel had no thought of withdrawing its forces from Egypt as yet. He told the Assembly that the clause in last weeks resolution calling for withdrawal of armed forces behind the old armistice lines “does not meet the basic purpose of the United Nations.” (In a nation-wide broadcast last night, British Prime Minister Eden declared that when Anglo-French forces have occupied key positions in the Suez Canal zone, the British Government will insure Israel’s withdrawal from Egyptian territory.

After announcing Israel’s acceptance of the cease-fire provision of that same resolution, Mr. Eban told the Assembly: “A return to the armistice agreement would be a return to a system which has served as a cover for the victimization, the boycott and the blockade of Israel and for a policy aimed at Israel’s ultimate annihilation.” He pointed out that “Egypt interprets the armistice as a state of war, and it cannot be the function of the General Assembly to promote or to foster a system of war.

“Accordingly,” he continued, “the Government of Israel feels that the only answer to this situation is the establishment of peace between Israel and Egypt by direct negotiations between the two countries, and it notifies the General Assembly that it would welcome the immediate opening of negotiations to that end, for which it is prepared forth with to send representatives for discussions with Egypt. Israel would also welcome similar negotiations with the Governments of other Arab States.”

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold yesterday named a three-man watchdog committee to report on the effect of the General Assembly order for an “immediate cease-fire” by Britain, France, Egypt and Israel. The three member, all top UN secretariat officials, are Undersecretary Ralph J. Bunche of the U.S., Undersecretary Ilya Tchernychev of Russia and the UN legal counsel, Constantine Stavropoulos of Greece. They are to report to Hammarskjold daily on steps taken by the parties to comply with UN injunctions.

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