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25 September 1951

Original: English


held in the Hotel de Crillon, Paris,
on Tuesday, 25 September 1951, at 3.50 p.m.

— Preparation for the meeting with the Arab delegations on the same day, at 5 p.m.

Chairman:Mr. PALMERUnited States of America
Members:Mr. MARCHALFrance
Mr. ARASTurkey
Alternates:Mr. BARCOUnited States of America
Mr. de NICOLAYFrance
Secretariat:Mr. de AZCARATEPrincipal Secretary


The CHAIRMAN thought he should make a statement to the Arab delegations on behalf of the Commission, giving them some information on the Commission’s plans for the programme of the conference.

He asked members of the Commission who might have had occasion to meet members of the delegations of the parties, to report their impressions or the ,results of their conversations.

Mr. ARAS (Turkey) said he had met Mr. Najar of the Israel delegation and had found him pacified. During the conversation, which had been a short one, Mr. Aras had specially emphasized the unity of the Commission’s proposals.

Mr. MARCHAL (France) had met the Israel representative in company and so had not had the opportunity of discussing matters with him in any detail.

The French representative thought the four Arab delegations had had instructions to adopt a very courteous attitude to the Commission but to use dilatory tactics in the conversations, without, however, bringing the Commission face to face with failure. It appeared, therefore, that the Arabs were sceptical of the results of the conference. Those impressions were confirmed by the fact that the Political Committee of the Arab League was to meet on Saturday, 29 September. This proved that the Arab Governments were somewhat at a loss to decide what line they should follow and were relying on the Arab League to formulate a coherent policy. Until that meeting had taken place, the Arab delegations would probably adopt a neutral attitude. He also reminded the Commission that Mr. Shukairi was due to leave for Cairo very shortly and that his successor was to arrive in Paris on Thursday, 27 September.

Mr. ARAS (Turkey) said he had had similar indications from Mr. Najar, of the Israel delegation, concerning the attitude of the Arab delegations. Mr. Najar had added that the Israel Government was studying the Commission’s proposals with care and that its delegation, was awaiting instructions. Mr. Marchal’s information, concerning the Arab League wars correct.

Mr. Aras had not met the Arab delegations but he would shortly be seeing the Iraqi Minister to Paris and intended to suggest to him that the Arab delegations would be well advised to accept the Commission’s proposals. In the preceding week, Mr. Aras had lunched with the minister for Egypt and had indicated to him on that occasion that it would be to the advantage of the Arab Governments to make an open declaration on the lines of the preamble to the proposals. The Egyptian Minister had assured him that he would not fail to inform them of the Commission’s desire as soon as possible.

The CHAIRMAN thought that the parties were clearly attempting to avoid adopting an attitude which would provoke the breaking off of the conversations. The Arab Governments seemed to fear that if they subscribed to an express declaration in the sense of the preamble, the matter would rest there. On the other hand, the Israel delegation attached great importance to the preamble and would be prepared to agree to it in its most categorical form but feared that the Arab delegations might exploit the position adopted by the Commission in presenting its comprehensive proposals. Israel certainly considered the proposals as representing the maximum concessions she could make, whereas the Arab Governments no doubt considered them the minimum to be obtained from Israel. It was the duty of the Commission to persuade all the parties that their fears were unjustified, drawing Israel’s attention to the advantage, for her, of agreeing to consider the Commission’s proposals and to express her views, in the light of the proposals, on the problems before her. The Commission in that way would be performing its real function of mediation.

For that purpose, it would be helpful if the members of the Commission were to try to arrange personal interviews with the members of the delegations of the various parties; that would be a very useful procedure and was quite accepted in the United Nations. It was understood, however, that there must be official discussions which would be placed on record. At those discussions, the Commission could give explanations and details of its attitude and the part it was anxious to play, showing that it was doing its utmost to satisfy the parties, and proving the sincerity and honesty of its intentions.

The Chairman explained that he had been indicating his own views which were contained in a draft statement which the Commission had before it, and which should be considered merely as an outline. If the members agreed upon it, the Chairman could address the Arab delegations on behalf of the Commission as a whole. He therefore invited them to study the draft.

Mr. ARAS (Turkey) found the draft satisfactory. In his opinion, it was better not to mention the reasons why the parties had certain doubts; on the other hand, emphasis, should he laid on the motives underlying the Commission’s attitude and intentions, as was done in the concluding part of the draft.

Mr. MARCHAL (France) also approved the tenor of the draft statement. However, he thought that paragraph 11 was not essential to the general line of argument. Of course, he approved of its substance, but he thought the form unsatisfactory as the terms used were too direct and specific and could too easily be challenged. For those reasons he thought the paragraph should be deleted.

He also suggested that the wording, of paragraph 12 which contained an unfortunate succession of negatives should be changed; the idea of non-suspicion could be replaced by the idea of good will, for instance.

He pointed out that Israel would probably try to obtain maximum concessions on non-aggression, whereas the Arab Governments would try to pass over that point very quickly, and consider the actual proposals.

Mr. ARAS (Turkey) supported the French representative’s proposals with the proviso, concerning the first, that it be clearly understood that the Commission’s view was not contrary to the idea expressed in the deleted paragraph. He thought too much emphasis could not be laid upon the fact that the preamble was an integral part of the proposals; it had to be examined but was only a part of them.

The CHAIRMAN also approved Mr. Marchal’s suggestion; to introduce the notion of good will was a good idea, particularly as there would certainly always be suspicion. A spirit of non-hostility was essential; that was an important idea and should come first.

The draft statement, thus amended, adopted.

The CHAIRMAN thought it was essential to discuss the question of the preamble, following the articles which had appeared in the press. The Principal Secretary and Mr. Barco had had conversations with the Arab delegations and had tried to persuade them that it was in their interest to agree to discuss the preamble, but they had not shown willingness to state that they would support it. However, the Commission could always issue a press communiqué , indicating that the preamble had been considered and that, from the discussion, the Commission had the impression that the Arab delegations were willing to approve the programme suggested by the Commission. Obviously it would be preferable if the Arab delegations were to agree to an undertaking in the sense of the preamble, but if they would not do so, the Commission could try to find an acceptable wording for the communiqué which would suggest that the Arabs accepted the preamble implicitly.

It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 4.30 p.m.

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Préparation de la réunion du 25 Septembre avec les Délégations Arabes - 242e séance de la CCNUP (Paris) - Compte Rendu Français