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The Arab League: Arab Summit Decides to Divert Jordan River

(January 13-17, 1964)

The first Arab summit conference, held in Cairo in January 1964, decided, among other things, on the diversion of the headwaters of the River Jordan. The plan itself was only hinted at in the final communiqué issued at the conclusion of the conference, but more details were revealed by the Secretary-General of the Arab League. The final communiqué of the summit reads as follows:

The Council of the Kings and Heads of State of the Arab League, in its first session held at the Arab League Headquarters in Cairo, from 13 to 17 January 1964, upon the suggestion of President Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of the United Arab Republic;

— Having considered the threat and repeated use of force by Israel since it evicted the Palestine Arab population, and created in their territory a colonialist State which practises discrimination against the Arab minority, adopts a policy of aggression of which the fait accompli is the basic feature, flouts continuously the resolutions of the United Nations which affirm the right of the Palestine Arab people to repatriation, and insultingly ignores the many condemnations of it adopted by the United Nations authorities;

— Having discussed Israel's new and aggressive plan to divert the course of the River Jordan, thereby greviously endangering the riparian rights of the Arabs with the object of realizing Zionist designs for expansion through immigration and Israel's plan to establish further centres of aggression against the security and progress of Arab countries, thus endangering world peace;

In pursuance of the legitimate right of self-defence;

— Fully persuaded of the sacred right of the Palestine Arab people to self determination and liberation from the Zionist colonization of their country, believing that Arab solidarity is the means to off-set imperialist designs, and convinced of the need for the realization of equitable common Arab interests to raise the living standard of the people and to implement programmes for reconstruction and rehabilitation;

— Has therefore adopted the practical resolutions essential to ward off the imminent Zionist menace, whether in the defensive or the technical domains in the field of organizing the Palestinian people to enable them to play their part in the liberation of their country and attain self-determination.

The Council's meeting has brought the Kings and Heads of State to unanimous agreement to put an end to differences, clear the Arab atmosphere of all discord, suspend all campaigns by information media, consolidate relations among the Arab States, ensure collective co-operation and reconstruction and frustrate aggressive expansionist designs menacing all Arab States.

The Council was also of the view that the convening of more of these meetings at the highest level is a matter necessitated by supreme Arab interests, and decided that the Kings and Heads of State should meet at least once a year and that the coming meeting be held during August, 1964, at Alexandria.

The Arab Kings and Heads of State declare that the Arab nation calls upon those nations and peoples of the world which cherish the right to self-determination to extend to it the staunchest support in repelling the new Israeli aggression.

These leaders affirm that, in adopting this just and defensive stand, they will regulate their political and economic relations with other countries in accordance with the policy of these countries toward the legitimate Arab struggle against Zionist designs in the Arab world.

The Arab Kings and Heads of State also hope that all those Afro-Asian countries which placed their faith in the Bandung principles and committed themselves to the Addis Ababa Charter and which sacrificed a great deal in fighting imperialism, fought racial discrimination and have been and are still being subjected to the Zionist and imperialist dangers and designs particularly in Africa would extend their true support and assistance to the Arabs in their just struggle.

These leaders also hope for the support of all free nations which believe in peace based on justice.

The Arab Kings and Heads of State further affirm the belief in the justice of the Arab struggle and in the need for supporting this struggle against imperialism in occupied South Yemen and in Oman, as well as their belief in the justice of the national struggle in Angola and South Africa and in every part of the world, that the cause of liberty and justice is integral and indivisible.

The leaders confirm their faith in solving world problems through peaceful means in accordance with the United Nations Charter and affirm their belief in the principle of peaceful co-existence among nations and in the policy of non-alignment.

Inspired by this conviction, the Arab countries welcome the partial nuclear test-ban treaty of Moscow and have hastened to sign it. They support the concerted efforts made towards achieving total and complete disarmament in ways that can safeguard world peace.

Inspired by their attachment to the principles of peace based on equity and justice, and their determination to participate in the economic development of the world through the elimination of economic and social under-development, the Arab countries played a major role in the Conference of Economic Development held in Cairo in the spring of 1963. They pledge themselves to participate with the same spirit and determination in the World Conference of Development and Trade which will be held this year.

The Kings and Heads of State welcome the African Unity Charter in which they see a new hope for peace, freedom, and equality in Africa and the world.

Moreover, they affirm their determination to consolidate Afro-Asian co-operation, which began in earnest with the Bandung Conference of 1955.

The Arab Kings and Heads of State declare their devotion to their duty towards their Arab nation, towards the dignity of the human family, and in the service of peace and prosperity in the world.

Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs