11. Editorial Note

The following conversation concerning the Israeli withdrawal question took place at the Secretary’s Staff Meeting on the morning of January 10:

“Mr. Phillips reported increasing pressure by the Asian-African Bloc in the General Assembly to force an Israeli withdrawal from Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Mr. Rountree said several Arab Ambassadors had advised him that their governments planned to introduce a resolution condemning Israel for its failure to withdraw and calling for economic sanctions. Mr. Murphy said the Israeli Ambassador told him yesterday that it was impossible for his government to withdraw from Sinai until it had firm assurances that it would enjoy continued free passage through the Gulf of Aqaba. The Secretary said he would like to receive recommendations on this matter and that he wished to meet with interested officers, including Senator George and Congressman Richards, later in the day.”

The notes then indicate that “NEA, in coordination with IO and other interested areas, [was] to provide the Secretary urgently with recommendations on the US position and steps to be taken by this government with respect to mounting Arab pressure that Israel withdraw from Sinai and the Gaza Strip.” (Department of State, Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75)