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India and Indonesia Support Arabs in U.N. Debate on Refugee Issue

November 20, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two members of the Afro-Asian bloc–India and Indonesia–spoke up here today in the protracted debate of the Arab refugee problem, both speakers going right down the Arab line by calling for repatriation of the refugees in Israeli territory and by rejecting completely Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s plan for integration of the refugees into the productive economies of the Middle East.

Chandra S. Jha, chairman of the Indian delegation, insisted that the United Nations must “stand steadfastly” by the principles of a resolution adopted in 1948 calling for repatriation of the Arab refugees. Like the Arab spokesman, who had preceded him, Ambassador Jha practically ignored other clauses in that same 1948 resolution which offered integration and resettlement of the refugees as alternatives to repatriation.

As to the Hammarskjold plan, Mr. Jha said, its implementation “could bring great danger to the peace and stability of the Middle East.” In regard to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine refugees, whose mandate expires next June 30, Mr. Jha called for the continuation of the UNRWA activities.

Dr. Ali Sastroamidjojo, chairman of the Indonesian delegation, took a similar course and supported the entire Arab thesis that repatriation of all the refugees is the only valid solution of the problem. He too opposed the Hammarskjold plan, declaring that “their economic integration in the Arab lands would only increase their concern and lessen their confidence in the United Nations.”

After listening to these two speakers, the Committee adjourned until tomorrow morning. As yet not a single neutral delegation has spoken, all of them waiting for some clue to the United States attitude–while the U.S. delegation continued sitting tight, refusing to reveal its hand.

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