SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOURTH MEETING
held in the Hotel de Crillon, Paris,
on Wednesday, 3 October 1951, at 10 a.m.
PREPARATION FOR FUTURE MEETINGS WITH THE DELEGATIONS OF THE PARTIES
The CHAIRMAN drew the Commission’s attention to the draft declaration which the Arab delegations had communicated to the Commission after receiving the Commission’s own proposal. He pointed out that the whole difficulty was due to Egypt’s attitude on the one hand and to Israel’s on the other. From a conversation he had had with the Israel representative it seemed to him that the latter assumed that the Arab Governments would not be prepared to sign a declaration which would limit the activities in which Egypt considered herself entitled to engage, by virtue of the Armistice Agreement she had signed.
The Israel representative had also asked the Chairman whether the Commission would communicate to the Arab delegations the draft pact which his delegation had submitted, to which the Chairman had replied that it did not seem timely to do so and that the Commission would communicate it if it thought fit. The Israel representative also appeared to attach great importance to the question of acts of hostility and in that connection had expressly referred to the Security Council resolution concerning Egypt.
The Chairman feared that the Arabs would not be prepared to adopt the Commission’s proposal. It was even quite likely that the Egyptian representative would reject it purely and simply on such instructions as he had for the moment.
In conclusion, he thought that the new version of the preamble would be the minimum acceptable by Israel. If anything was deleted from the text it would be acceptable to that country and that would represent a step backwards.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) pointed out that the Arab Governments clearly wished to remain at the stage of the Armistice. In fact a state of hostility still persisted and the Armistice was only a temporary state and not a state of peace. In addition Israel had made a very clever manoeuvre by stating that the preamble was for her a minimum. In any case, the important point for the Commission was to persevere in its efforts and try to find out the attitude of the parties concerning the proposals they had presented, in order at least to be in a position to report on the subject to the General Assembly.
The CHAIRMAN stated that the Egyptian representative was almost certain to raise the question of the Commission’s competence, claiming that it had gone beyond its terms of reference. He suggested in that connection that it would be better not to discuss the matter at the meeting with the Arab delegations, but simply to hand them the Secretariat’s memorandum, at the end of the meeting, as a reply to the points they had raised at their previous meeting with the Commission.
It was so decided.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) thought the best method would be to confine the discussion to the draft declaration which had been submitted to the Arab delegations, asking them whether they accepted or rejected it, and if the latter, to give their reasons.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) thought the intention was to avoid precipitating events and to be patient. If it were to do otherwise, the Commission might find itself in a dual difficulty: on the one hand the Arab delegations, in particular Egypt, whilst not formally rejecting the preamble, would obstruct proceedings by raising the question of the Commission’s competence; Israel, on the other hand, would become more and more uncompromising on the question of non-aggression, with the result that the Commission would be unable to surmount that obstacle.
Mr. de NICOLAY (France) thought that if the Arab delegations rejected the present proposals, the Commission might make a last effort to reconcile the points of view by replacing the expression “acts of hostility” by the phrase “all acts mentioned in the respective Armistice Agreements”.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) thought the best solution would be to say to the Arab delegations that the Commission had taken note of their counter-proposal, which it wished to study, and that it reserved the right to give a definitive reply later. In that way it would be possible to proceed to the consideration of the actual proposals. He pointed out in that connection that the preamble had no value except in relation to the proposals, the real purpose of the present conference being to study the proposals. Moreover, he emphasized the necessity of dealing with the parties on an equal footing. The draft declaration prepared by the Commission should therefore be communicated to Israel also.
Mr. BARCO (United States) thought the procedure suggested by Mr. Aras would have the advantage of leaving the initiative with the Commission. The Commission must not delay in adopting a firm attitude concerning the draft declarations: either it should agree upon a text or it should decide to take no decision, reserving its position until later; in any case it should not remain in a state of suspense.
The CHAIRMAN thought the Commission should not take the various proposals lightly. In his opinion it should try to find out the attitudes of the various parties on the text it had proposed and try to amend it in the light of observations made by the parties, in order to arrive at a formula acceptable both to Israel and to the Arab Governments and satisfactory to the Commission.
Mr. FISHER (Political Officer) thought that in any case no useful purpose would be served by communicating the Arab proposal to Israel and Israel’s proposal to the Arabs. It would be preferable to keep to the Commission’s text and ask the parties to accept it.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) thought the technical question of the text to be adopted was really secondary. The main point was to get the parties to agree on certain general principles in order to create an atmosphere favourable to the consideration of the proposals.
The CHAIRMAN proposed to cancel the scheduled meeting with the Arab delegations and to hold another meeting of the Commission in the afternoon, in order to continue the present discussion with a view to determining the attitude it should adopt towards the parties.
It was so decided.
Préparation des prochaines séances avec les délégations- 244e séance de CCNUP (Paris) – Compte rendu Français