SUMMARY RECORD OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE COMMITTEE ON JERUSALEM
AND THE DELEGATION OF SYRIA
(28th MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE)
held Lausanne on Wednesday
4 May 1949, 3:30 p.m.
The CHAIRMAN welcomed the Syrian representatives in the name of the Committee, and summarized briefly the task which the Committee had been created to perform, as laid down in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the resolution. He called attention to the two questionnaires which had been drawn up by the Committee, and stated when handing over copies to the Syrian representatives that the Committee would appreciate receiving replies from the Syrian delegation at their convenience, either orally or in writing.
Mr. CHOUKAIRI expressed the appreciation of his delegation for the Committee’s keen interest in the intricate problem of Jerusalem, and its readiness to cooperate with the Committee in order to arrive at a solution which would be consistent with justice. He stressed the fact, nevertheless, that the Jerusalem issue was part and parcel of the whole Palestine problem; it was difficult for his delegation to give its final views, in principle or in detail, before the other issues involved in the final peace settlement had been clarified. He could, however, make certain preliminary comments.
Mr. Choukairi pointed out that the system of internationalisation constituted an exception to the general rule of national sovereignty, and that certain evils and weaknesses were implicit in such a system. He hoped that those evils would not be present in the plan eventually evolved by the Committee.
As regards guarantees, he stressed the fact that formal guarantees in themselves amounted to little unless their implementation was well and carefully planned. The Palestine Arabs had lost faith in the effectiveness of international guarantees; it would be the task of the Committee to win back their confidence. It would he necessary, in effect, for the guarantees to be guaranteed.
With regard to the Holy Places outside Jerusalem, the same statement applied: guarantees in words would not be sufficient. It would be necessary to reinstate and preserve the status quo, religious and otherwise, which had existed in Palestine at the time the resolution of 29 November 1947 was passed.
Finally, Mr. Choukairi emphasized the necessity that the Committee’s work should not be of an academic nature. The present activities of the Israeli Government with regard to Jerusalem and the Holy Places would, if they were allowed to proceed unchecked, defeat the ends for which the Committee had been created and render its eventual achievements useless.
For these reasons, his delegation hoped that the Committee would act, firmly and effectively. The position of his Government on the question would be stated in detail, in due time, as soon as the entire overall situation became clear.
The CHAIRMAN assured the Syrian representatives that the Committee attached the same importance to the establishment of effective guarantees as they did themselves. The Committee would do its best to draw up a plan for a regime for Jerusalem which would have a practical application; its best defense against producing an academic document would be a full and frank expression of their views by the delegations.
Mr. CHOUKAIRI assured the Committee that their questions would be answered at the earliest possible moment and in full detail.
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Rencontre avec la délégation syrienne - Comité de la CCNUP sur Jérusalem 28e séance (Lausanne) - Compte rendu analytique Français