ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The Agenda was adopted.
INFORMAL REPORT BY DR. JOSEPH E. JOHNSON, SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
The CHAIRMAN welcomed Dr. Johnson and commented on the great interest with which members of the Commission had followed the course of his visit to the Middle East.
Dr. JOHNSON (Special Representative) outlined the itinerary which he and Mr. Moe had followed in the area between l4 April and 12 May, indicated the personalities with whom he had talked and reported informally on the approach employed, reactions encountered and his impressions as to the nature of the problem at the present juncture.
Beginning his tour in Israel he had had three meetings with Ms. Meir, the Foreign Minister, and senior officials of her Ministry. In view of the official limitations of his visit, he had been fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with the leading expert on the Arabs in Israel and to learn his views on their situation and their attitude to repatriation of refugees to Israel.
In both Lebanon and the S.A.R., he had seen the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry. In Damascus he had also talked with Ambassador Daudy.
Thence to Cairo where talks had taken place with the Foreign Minister and General Hilmi of the Department of Palestine Affairs as well as with President Nasser. A courtesy call had been paid at the headquarters of the Arab League.
In Amman lengthy conversations had been held with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. He had also had an audience with the King. In Arab Jerusalem he had seen its Governor Anwar Nuseibeh; by chance Mr. Tannous had also been present.
The trip had concluded with a return visit to Israel for further talks with Mrs. Meir and one with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion.
During the tour he had called on the representatives in the area of the three members of the Commission and briefed them on his mission. While seeing Dr. Davis and other UNRWA officials, he had visited no refugee camps.
After commenting on the climate of opinion in Israel and the Arab host States, Dr. Johnson outlined the general approach he had undertaken in his assignment based upon paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and the reactions of Israel and the Arab States.
All Governments had been informed that he was prepared to return to the area, should that prove desirable, and to talk to their representatives at United Nations Headquarters. He would not now submit a report to the Commission but intended to continue his efforts and planned a report sometime around the opening of the next General Assembly.
In conclusion, Dr. Johnson expressed warm appreciation of the very friendly and efficient co-operation and help which he had received from United Nations representatives in the area. In particular he singled out Mr. Kai Mortensen, Liaison Officer of the Commission in Jerusalem, as an outstanding officer who deserved commendation on his effective performance.
After various questions had been put to Dr. Johnson, the CHAIRMAN thanked the Special Representative for his very interesting report and expressed the view that all would need time for reflection.
The CHAIRMAN announced that, in view of his imminent reassignment, this would unfortunately be the last occasion on which he would preside as Chairman of the Commission. He thanked his colleagues and the Secretariat for the kindness and understanding that they had shown him.
Mr. PLIMPTON (United States of America) thanked Mr. Eldem for his excellent chairmanship and expressed warm good wishes for his future.
Mr. DAUGE (France) associated himself with the remarks of his United States colleague and assured Mr. Eldem of the pleasant recollections he would retain of their collaboration on the Commission.
Visite du Représentant spécial (Johnson) au Moyen-Orient - 350e Séance de CCNUP- Compte rendu Français