Question of Palestine home
31 March 1954
Exchange of correspondence between the Secretary-General and the Governments of the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan and Israel regarding the convocation of a conference under article XII of the General Armistice Agreement
[Original text: English]
[31 March 1954]
NOTE BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
The Secretary-General has the honour to communicate for the information of members of the Security Council the text of the following letter dated 29 March 1954 from the permanent representative of Israel to the Secretary-General:
"I have received Your Excellency's letter of 24 March 1954 conveying the reply of the Jordan Gov-ernment to your letter of 18 February 1954. It is evident that this reply constitutes a flat refusal to attend the conference which you convoked under article XII of the General Armistice Agreement.
"2. Under article XII of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, each party is under mandatory obligation to attend a conference convoked by the Secretary-General of the United Nations at the request of the other party for the purposes stated in the article. The Government of Jordan, however, has for over four months persistently and repeatedly violated this central provision of its agreement with, Israel.
"3. In the course of your efforts to arrange the conference you suggested certain conditions of time, place, initial chairmanship and principles of agenda which might facilitate Jordan's fulfilment of its mandatory obligations. I hope that you will agree that the Government of Israel showed a cooperative attitude to all these suggestions. The correspondence which you have submitted to the Security Council fully bears out this contention.
"4. The refusal of Jordan to honour its signature of article XII of the General Armistice Agreement leads inevitably to three conclusions:
"(a) Jordan does not respect its international obligations and is not prepared to honour an agreement to which it has set its hand.
Jordan does not consider itself bound by the General Armistice Agreement as a whole, but regards itself as free to decide which provisions of that agreement it shall ignore. This is surely tanta-mount to a repudiation by Jordan of the Agreement.
"(c) Jordan is aware of the acute tensions which have prevailed on its border with Israel for several years, and especially in recent months, as a result of its repeated incursions and attacks on Israeli life and property; nevertheless the Jordan Government declines to join with Israel under the due procedures laid down in article XII of the Armistice Agreement in an attempt to bring about a general improvement of the grave situation.
"These three facts constitute an international transgression of unusual scope and gravity. The Government of Israel is devoting its full considera-tion to the position thus created.
"My Government appreciates the zealous and pa-tient efforts which Your Excellency has devoted to this matter. We have noted with gratification your published statement of 10 March emphasizing the mandatory character of article XII, and your pub-lished statement of 27 March that you cannot be regarded as concurring in Jordan's reasons for re-fusing your invitation.
"I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated to the members of the Security Council as an additional document to those already published in S/3180 and S/3180/Add.l."
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of Israel to the United Nations