SUMMARY RECORD OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE CONCILIATION COMMISSION
AND THE DELEGATION OF SYRIA
held in Lausanne, 28 April 1949 at 11 a.m.
The CHAIRMAN welcomed the Syrian delegation and recalled that the problems with which the Commission was concerned fell into three categories: questions of general conciliation, the problem of the refugees, and the question of Jerusalem and the Holy Places. On all these matters the Commission would need to explore in further detail the views of the Arab representatives; it counted on the cooperation of all the delegations.
Mr. ATASSI expressed the conviction that under the guidance of the Commission it would be possible to arrive at just solution of all these problems. His delegation would at all times be at the disposal of the Commission and would do all in its power to facilitate the Commission’s task.
The question of general conciliation, he thought, was a new point, which had not been raised during the Beirut meetings; there were other problems of a more pressing immediate solution. His Government’s stand on that question had not varied since the Beirut talks. As regards Jerusalem, he pointed out that Syria had accepted the principle of internationalisation in order to show its willingness to abide by the terms of the General Assembly’s resolution. In view of the statements made by the Government of Israel on the subject, however, he wished to state that if this concession on the part of his Government were of no avail and if for any reason Jerusalem were not to be internationalised, the only remaining solution would be to entrust the protection of the Holy Places to Arab states. He pointed out that such Arab control had been a tradition since the Middle Ages, without cause for complaint. In answer to a question from Mr. Yalcin, he explained that his Government’s views applied also to the Holy Places outside Jerusalem, such as Bethlehem and Nazareth.
Mr. de BOISANGER remarked that since the Jerusalem question was now in the hands of a committee, it would be helpful if that Committee could contact the Syrian delegation and obtain its views on the matter in some detail.
Mr. ATASSI reiterated that hid delegation was at the disposal of both the Commission and the Committee at any time.
The CHAIRMAN pointed, out that it was the Commission’s intention to present a plan for internationalization of Jerusalem to the General Assembly at its September session, in accordance with the directive laid down in the resolution. Concerning the refugee question, the Commission recognized the urgency of the matter and way doing all it could to expedite a solution; he asked, however that the Syrian delegation should keep in mind the Commission’s view that a settlement of the territorial question would contribute greatly to the solution of the refugee problem.
The Chairman asked whether the Syrian delegation had any recent information regarding the progress of the armistice negotiations.
Mr. ATASSI said he had no such information, he hoped to have news, however, when the remainder of his delegation arrived in Lausanne within a day or two
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