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Sharett and U.N. Truce Chief Meet Tomorrow on Syrian Dispute

October 14, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

United Nations truce chief Maj. Gen. Vagn Bennike and Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett will meet Thursday, at Mr. Sharett’s invitation, to discuss the canal project along the northern section of the Jordan River to which Syria has taken objection.

A UN spokesman today maintained that Gen. Bennike had not changed his original attitude, which was to demand that the Israelis cease work immediately on the project until they could arrive at an agreement with the Syrians on how it should be carried through. The UN truce chief appears to regard implementation of his ruling as a test case involving both his and the United Nations’ authority.

An Israeli spokesman had no reaction to the UN interpretations, but simply confirmed the technical details of Thursday’s meeting and stated that the only item on the agenda at the meeting was the canal situation. At the Foreign Ministry, a spokesman said he was unaware of any “new proposals or compromise” allegedly to be offered by Mr. Sharett.

(At the United Nations, Syria protested today against Israel’s refusal to stop work on the canal and power dam along the Jordan River. The Syrian permanent representative, Rafik A sha, handed a note to the UN Secretary General in which he drew attention to the request of Gen. Vagn Bennike, head of the UN truce commission in Palestine, to halt the works in the area, and said that it had not been complied with. In his note, Mr. A sha asserted that the aim of these works was “to deprive the people on the Syrian side of the Jordan River of waters needed to irrigate their land.”)

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