Letter dated 5 September transmitting a Draft Declaration addressed by the Chairman of the Conciliation Commission
to the Head of the Delegation of Israel and to the Heads of the Arab Delegations
I have the honour to inform you that the Economic Survey Group whose establishment was communicated to you on 24 August will arrive on September 8 at Lausanne for conversations with the members of the Conciliation Commission and the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees. It is expected that the Chairman of the Group and his colleagues will take this opportunity of meeting the Arab and Israeli delegations. The group will then proceed immediately to the Middle East where it will begin its work.
Moreover, the Commission also wishes to inform you that it is now considering the Memorandum transmitted to it on . . . August by your delegation in reply to the Memorandum presented on 15 AugustMemorandum presented on 15 August by the Commission to the Arab delegations and to the delegation of Israel. Although consideration of the Memorandum has not yet been completed, it is already evident to the Commission that agreement on territorial questions will only be achieved after intensive negotiations. In order to prepare for such negotiations, the Commission intends within the next few days to send your delegation a note containing remarks and suggestions which will doubtless call for careful study on the part of your Government.
In view of the fact that it would be desirable for the Economic Survey Group to have an opportunity of beginning its work in the field along lines already approved by the Commission, and that it would be necessary to grant the Governments concerned the requisite time to reconsider their attitude, taking into account the note which the Commission intends to send them, the Commission has come to the conclusion that it would be opportune to suspend its conversations for a few weeks. It has therefore envisaged terminating the Lausanne meetings on a date between the 15th and the 20th of September, and resuming negotiations with the Arab delegations and the delegation of Israel in New York in the latter half of October. The exact dates will be decided upon later. The choice of New York for the resumption of the Commission’s work was prompted by the fact that, aside from any other considerations, the Commission will in any case be obliged to go there since questions on which it had been instructed to report to the General Assembly appear on the agenda of the forthcoming session.
It is understood that, during the recess of the Commission’s meetings, its members will remain at the disposal of the parties and that the Principal Secretary will return to the official seat of the Commission in Jerusalem, in order to ensure liaison with the parties and to receive any suggestions or observations which they might wish to communicate to the Commission.
In these circumstances, the Commission is convinced that your delegation will not fail to appreciate the importance of the considerations which have prompted its decision to suspend its meetings and resume them in New York next month; the Commission is certain that it can continue to count upon the valuable collaboration of your delegation and your Government during the future meetings in New York.
Finally, the Commission wishes to communicate herewith to your delegation the Draft Declaration referred to in the Commission’s Memorandum of 15 August, in order that your delegation and the other delegations may sign that Declaration before the suspension of meetings in Lausanne.
l. The solution of the refugee problem should be sought in the repatriation of refugees in Israeli-controlled territory and in the resettlement of those refugees not repatriated in such areas of Palestine as may be under Arab control, or in Arab countries.
2. The Delegations of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom, and the Delegation of Israel, consider that their respective countries are not in a position to carry out repatriation and resettlement on a large scale without technical and financial assistance from the international community.
3. The Delegations of Syria and the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom are in a position to state that their Governments, in conjunction with the recommendations of the Economic Survey Group of the Conciliation Commission, and provided that international technical and financial assistance are made available, are able to receive those refugees who may not be repatriated in Israeli-controlled territory or resettled in such areas of Palestine as may be under Arab control. Because of population pressures and for geographic reasons, it would be difficult for Egypt and Lebanon to receive sizeable numbers of refugees, but the Governments of Egypt and Lebanon are prepared to give careful study to the question in the light of the findings of the Economic Survey Group.
4. The refugees who are repatriated in Israeli-controlled territory or resettled in Arab States will become ipso facto citizens of Israel or of the Arab States concerned, and no discrimination will be practised against them both with regard to the civil and political rights which they will exercise and to the obligations imposed upon them by the law of the land.
5. The Governments of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom will facilitate the task of the Economic Survey Group of the Conciliation Commission and, after giving full consideration to such recommendations as the Economic Survey Group may make, will take such measures as they may judge opportune and possible to carry out the recommendations of the Group.
6. Until such time as technical and financial aid shall have been allotted by the international community for the repatriation and resettlement of the refugees, it is essential that funds continue to be provided to continue the emergency aid now being extended to the refugees.
7. In accepting the above principles the Delegations of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom, and the Delegation of Israel, fully reserve their rights and claims in connection with the final settlement of .the territorial question in Palestine.
*Issued also as AR/18
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