24. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State1
Delga 511. Verbatim text. Re Israeli withdrawal. Fawzi (Egypt) saw me and asked for our views on following resolution which he said would be tabled at outset of plenary meeting on Thursday. Fawzi said he had an extremely difficult time keeping Cairo quiet on this matter in view of fact that destruction is continuing in Sinai, as well as killing of Egyptian people. He expressed hope there would be broad support on the GA resolution, including US.
Recalling its resolutions 997 (ES–l) of 2 Nov. 1956, 998 (ES–l) of 4 Nov. 1956, 999 (ES–l) of 4 Nov. 1956, 1002 (ES–) of 7 Nov. 1956, and A/Res/410 of 24 Nov. 1956,2
Noting with grave regret and concern the failure of Israel to comply with the terms of the above-mentioned resolutions,
- Condemns the non-compliance of Israel with the said resolutions,
- Calls upon Israel to withdraw its forces behind the armistice demarcation lines within five days,
- Calls upon all members to refrain from giving any military, economic or financial assistance to Israel in the light of the provisions of the aforementioned resolutions,
- Requests the SYG to report on the implementation of this resolution as soon as possible.”
With respect to Suez Canal issue, he said they were ready to talk about it but not while Egyptian territory was occupied, Egyptian people killed and installations destroyed. There were two other questions linked with this matter; namely, compensation for damages to Egypt [Page 38]as well as ending of economic measures taken against Egypt. He stressed that his over-all objective was to convert area from strife to constructive peace.
I cautioned Fawzi not to hurry matter with respect to res and emphasized desirability give SYG as much time as possible to work out something on Israeli withdrawals. Fawzi said that he had delayed this matter for over two weeks and that he did not feel further delay was possible.
He stressed that Assembly should not accept conditions from Israel for compliance with GA resolutions. He said Israelis should withdraw, and this would not prevent them from bringing to the attention of the Assembly other matters which interest them (i.e., Straits of Tiran, Aqaba). Fawzi indicated Egypt could wait, as they had so far, with respect to compensation question and that they planned on letting their resolution lie dormant for awhile. In response to my query, he said he expected to have support of GA for above res. He said if there was anything in res which US thought was wrong or too much to ask, he wanted to know, since he felt Egypt would lose in long run if it was not realistic. He implied there was no such defect in text. Fawzi left it open as to whether they would press to a vote the res on Thursday, suggesting vote might be put off if something was on point of being worked out.
We pointed out that in view of interest of maritime nations in assuring freedom of passage through Gulf of Aqaba, it was possible that res in present form might fail of adoption, and in this even Egypt’s cause would be weakened and Israeli position strengthened. In response to our suggestion that submission of res be delayed while permitting debate, Fawzi affirmed that he intended to submit res at opening meeting.
In addition to instructions on how we would vote on above res, I request Department provide me with statement I could make in Assembly on Thursday.
I believe Egyptian res is dangerous as well as acutely embarrassing. Am considering devices to gain time, notably reference of SYG’s report to advisory committee for report. Believe under proper circumstances two-thirds vote possible for language which will establish UNEF’s status in Tiran and other areas. Hope Department will give me their ideas and any inducements I can hold out to Egyptians and Israelis.3
This can be a very rough ride.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/1–1557. Confidential; Priority. Received at 11:07 p.m.↩
- Same as U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1 120 (XI).↩
- Lodge and Dulles discussed the Israeli withdrawal question over the telephone on January 16; see the editorial note, infra. The draft resolution quoted in this telegram was never formally tabled by the Government of Egypt.↩