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Israel Asks Direct Arab-israeli Treaty Talks Now

September 21, 1951
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Israel will tell the United Nations Conciliation Commission on Palestine that the Jewish State is prepared to negotiate a treaty of peace immediately, directly with the Arab states, it was learned today.

The Israeli cabinet met last night and considered developments at Paris where the U.N. body is holding triangular talks with Israelis and Arabs in an effort-to bring about a peace settlement. It heard reports from Dr. Walter Eytan, director-general of the Foreign Ministry, and Reuven Shiloah, special advisor to the ministry, who returned yesterday from Paris consultations with the Israeli delegation.

The cabinet approved instructions to be relayed to the delegation, it is understood, authorizing it to make this declaration to the commission. The delegation was also reportedly instructed to tell the commission that demands for return of Arab refugees to Israeli territory can only be settled within the framework of a general peace settlement – a point which the Israelis have been reiterating for the past three years.

The delegation will also tell the U.N. commission that it can best serve the interests of peace by concentrating its efforts on bringing the Arabs together with the Jews as did Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, former U.N. mediator, in 1948 when he brought both sides together at Rhodes for conclusion of armistice agreements.

(The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported from Paris tonight that Reuven Shiloah, Foreign Ministry special advisor, was awaited there with the new instructions for the Israeli delegation. It was expected that formal sessions of the commission will be resumed tomorrow.)

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