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Arab-jewish Peace Talks Will Start Next Week in Rhodes, U.N. Mediator Announces

June 17, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

After an all-day conference in Cairo with the political committee of the Arab League, Count Folke Bernadotte, U.N. mediator for Palestine, informed the Secretariat here that the work of mediation and negotiation between Arabs and Jews will begin next week on the Greek island of Rhodes.

To facilitate the task of maintaining liaison and negotiating for the seven Arab countries, the League has established a sub-committee of four, which consists of the Prime Ministers of Egypt, Transjordan, and Lebanon in addition to Abdul Rahman-Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the League. Bernadotte also announced that a group of four subordinate Arab officials–two of them Palestinians–would go to Rhodes with the mediation staff. He added that a similar group would be sent by the Provisional Government of Israel.

The Trusteeship Council today rejected a Soviet proposal for implementation of the part of the U.N. partition decision which calls for a United Nations trusteeship over the city of Jerusalem. After a two-hour battle in which members of the Council generally refused to place the Jerusalem question on the agenda, the Council adopted a French substitute for the Soviet resolution, to include the question of Jerusalem trusteeship on the order of business. The Soviet resolution would have struck a blow against the Arab Legion’s occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem.

During the debate, the representatives of France, Britain and the United States advocated that the Council avoid any action which may upset Bernadotte’s current negotiations. The British representative John Fletcher-Cooke interpreted the decision of the last General Assembly as a suspension of partition. Soviet delegate Semyon K. Tsarapkin insisted that the Council could not “by pass” the partition decision.

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