683.84A/12–2751: Telegram

No. 382
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Israel1


490. Dept appreciates helpful comments contained Tel Aviv Embtel 627 Dec 272 and Damascus Legtel 408 Jan 9. Dept sincerely hopes change in Israel attitude will follow as result Eban’s visit and Emb representations. Dept considers paramount importance Syrian-Israel MAC resume mtgs. Chairman MAC has sufficient auth deal with questions he considers shld be discussed.

Dept concurs fully Emb and Leg views that intervention with Syrian Govt effect release Israel prisoners undesirable and inappropriate [Page 877] at this time, particularly since this precisely type problem MAC estab to consider. Suggest Emb reply to aide-mémoire contained Emb desp [telegram] 578 Dec 133 to effect that this question shld be considered in MAC. While Dept unwilling intervene directly with Syrian Govt effect release these Israelis, since problem matter for UN machinery, it will recommend Leg Damascus urge Syrian Govt resume MAC mtgs soonest. Dept considers it may be desirable that on Riley’s return NE he personally take charge MAC mtgs discuss this question in order effect release Israelis in Syria.

Leg Damascus its discretion might inform Syrian Govt US gratified at dispatch and relative amity with which Syrian-Israel MAC dealt with shooting two Israelis Lake Tiberias and hopes other matters outstanding can be discussed soonest in MAC; wld urge Syrians to cooperate with UN in holding MAC mtgs on regular basis and US likewise urging Israelis to do same.

Dept hopes Riley can return NE soonest.

  1. Repeated to Damascus, Amman, Jerusalem, Paris, and Beirut.
  2. See footnote 3, supra.
  3. See footnote 6, supra.