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U.N. Mediator Says Press Reports on His Meeting with Gen. Riley Are “misleading”


U.N. Acting Mediator Ralph Bunche today issued a statement asserting that recent press statements concerning a meeting between Brig. Gen. William Riley and himself this week-end were “inaccurate and misleading” in some important respects. Dr. Bunche insisted that no “official” statement of the meeting in his office Saturday was authorized and the conclusions reached were not those presented in the press.

The acting mediator said neither he nor Gen. Riley made any statement concerning the implementation of the Security Council’s resolution on the Negev. Neither suggested direct negotiations between the Jews and Arabs, he added, although both Gen. Riley and himself, like Bernadotte, welcome such a procedure. He declared that such reports do “not assist” the serious, intensive efforts under way to bring an early peace to Palestine.

Political circles here pointed out that although Gen. Riley met with the Arab delegates Saturday, at which time he was reported to have told them that the Arab position in Palestine was hopeless, Dr. Bunche’s denial did not come until Monday, and then only after he had conferred with a prominent Palestine advisor to the British delegation. Newsmen asked that the U.N. arrange a press conference at which they could question Gen. Riley. A U.N. spokesman, however, said that it was decided not to hold the conference.


Dr. Bunche will outline his proposals for peace in the Negev and the remainder of Palestine at a closed session of the Security Council tomorrow morning, it was announced here today. The Council will hold a second, open, meeting on Palestine tomorrow afternoon.

Dr. Bunche will propose a revamped version of his project first offered on October 31– that both parties withdraw from a large rectangular strip of the desert and turn its administration over to the U.N. In addition, forces in the area would be demobilized and then the two parties would meet either directly or indirectly and settle whatever truce problems remain outstanding.

Dr. Bunche is known to favor a Security Council order supporting peace negotiations in the event that voluntary discussions cannot take place or break down in the middle. Sources close to the acting mediator say that he does not consider this aspect of the plan an adequate substitute for the proposals contained in the Bernadette plan. If the negotiations fail, the same sources assert, Dr. Bunche will ask the Council to impose a peace settlement.

The United States delegation will not support the British proposal to extend the Security Council Negev resolution to all other fronts in Palestine, it was learned today. An American delegation spokesman today said that it was clearly understood that the Anglo-Chinese-American resolution pertained specifically to the Negev situation.

Both American and British delegation spokesmen admitted that the delegations were taken by complete surprise by Gen. William Riley’s conference last Saturday with Arab representatives. However, they pointed out that he was acting within the limits of his rights and duties. The Political Committee is expected to open debate on Palestine Wednesday.


Secretary of State George C. Marshall today interviewed Gen. Riley. The Marine General repeated his analysis of this week-end of the Arab position in Palestine; namely, that it is hopeless from a military standpoint.

At a press conference today, the Uruguayan delegation indicated that its position at this session of the General Assembly would be a reflection of the delegation’s stand last year, which was in active support of partition. Uruguay is opposed to changing the original partition boundaries because it cannot agree to territorial changes without the consent of the sovereign state involved, the delegation indicated.

Israeli representative Aubrey Eban today issued a statement denouncing Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, for circulating a fictitious atrocity story. Eban declared that the town in which the Jews were said to have mistreated Arabs was not located in Galilee as Azzam Pasha had stated, but in the Negev. In the Negev town, Eban declared, all the Arab residents had been evacuated safely. He pointed out that other atrocity stories mentioned by Azzam Pasha had proved to be “imaginary.” In addition, he asserted that any suffering of the civilian population was the responsibility of the Arab states who admittedly invaded Palestine.

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