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John F. Kennedy Administration:
Circular Telegram on Jordanian Plea for Arab Interpretation of UN Refugee Resolution

(November 20, 1963)


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This is a circular telegram from the Department of State to certain posts reporting on the Jordanian plea for U.S. support of paragraph 11 of the UN Resolution 194.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Atallah called on Secretary November 19. Atallah apprehensive that USG wavering on support Paragraph 11, UN Resolution 194 and charged Palestine Conciliation Commission Report compromises USG position on Palestine refugees. Reference in Report to "talks without preconditions" with respect to refugees "kills" Paragraph 11.

Atallah made emotional plea for clear reaffirmation Paragraph 11 by USG. He contended Israel lacked sovereignty over former Arab lands in Israel, particularly in areas not allotted to Israel under UN partition plan of 1947. He urged that USG call on Israel to stop "expropriation" Arab lands as otherwise refugees would have no place to which return. Arabs were not asking for property custodian but something much less.

Secretary stated he personally familiar with genesis refugee problem. He regretted USG must disagree with Arabs on some things. With respect Paragraph 11 Secretary thought USG position could be clarified satisfactorily. US would prefer no UN resolution on refugees but apparently will be impossible to avoid one. USG would give thought to Foreign Minister's views.

Johnson


Sources: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963: Near East, 1962-1963, V. XVIII. DC: GPO, 2000.

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