170. Telegram From the Consulate General at Jerusalem to the Department of State1

17. I met with General Burns and British Consul General Wikeley July 22 regarding Gaza talks.Burns reviewed situation as it has developed through July 20 Gaza meeting and discussed draft letter he preparing send Gohar in place “ultimatum” (mytel 152).

Above letter refers to 6 long and exhaustive discussions on subject commander’s arrangement and expresses opinion that time has come for adoption final text, especially since points on which Egyptian agreement still needed now relate only form of wording following:

[Page 319]
Naming of senior officer to represent each party to arrangement;
Periodic meetings of these officers;
Details of telephone communications.Burns enclosing draft clauses these points for Gohar’s consideration. With regard (1) above Burns also including in his letter statement his understanding that Egyptians will agree to appoint an officer of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel having staff or command assignment in vicinity D/L. Letter then proceeds to question of signatures to arrangement and concludes it should be signed in same manner as GAA.

Burns then told us that Gohar wanted him to sign also as party to arrangement.Burns thought that would be illogical and would moreover be resisted by Israelis.

However, his letter continues, if arrangement signed as Burns suggests he would forward certified copy to UNSYG accompanied by supplementary explanation that arrangement was negotiated under his chairmanship and in his opinion adequately covers 2 of the 4 proposals of SC resolution March 30: i.e., the so-called local commanders agreement itself and the proposal that only trained troops should be in forward areas, since latter proposal incorporated in text prospective arrangement. Statement would also include passage expressing his belief that it would be in accordance with resolution just mentioned for UN observers to be available to parties for consultation and assistance in implementation arrangement in addition their other duties.

Letter concludes with expression hope that Gohar will be authorized agree enclosed 3 draft clauses and method signature, especially in view proposed supplementary explanation to UNSYG. Failing such authorization,Burns adds, he does not think it would be worthwhile holding meeting tentatively fixed for July 27. He would, however, be prepared proceed Cairo discuss differences there.

Turning to other items Gaza meetings agenda,Burns said no progress yet made respecting joint patrols, barrier, or Nasser’s neutral zone.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/7–2355. Confidential; Priority. Received at 9:51 a.m. Repeated priority to Cairo, Tel Aviv, London, Paris,USUN, Amman, Beirut, and Damascus.
  2. Cole reported on July 21 that General Burns had informed him that the “Gaza talks July 20 proved inconclusive as most of the time was spent endeavoring to overcome Gohar’s quibbling about matters of phraseology.Burns added that discussion was almost entirely concerned with unsuccessful efforts to draft various clauses of proposed local commanders arrangements in a manner acceptable to Gohar.” As a result,Burns did not believe he could make any progress if such meetings continued; he was contemplating sending Fawzi an “ultimatum” in an effort to get the talks moving again. (Ibid., 674.84A/7–2155)