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UNITED NATIONS: Britain and France today [July 14] joined in a growing move against Israel’s annexation of the Old City of Jerusalem. Both backed the Pakistani resolution calling for cancellation of Israeli steps to “unify” Jerusalem. The proposal, initiated by Pakistan, has been jointly sponsored by Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Guinea, Mali and Somalia.

Britain’s Lord Caradon told the emergency session of the General Assembly he would support the Pakistani resolution deploring Israel’s action and requesting the Security Council to force Israel to give up the Old City.

French Ambassador Roger Seydoux took a similar position. He said France had taken the stand that no territorial gains in the Israeli-Arab war could be recognised and that “only a freely negotiated settlement adopted by all the parties may one day settle all the problems”.

The Iraqi delegate, M. Kharidi, stated that Israeli was using “terror and blackmail” to consolidate its hold on Jerusalem.

He also charged that the banks of the Sea of Galilee were now dotted with night clubs and that the waters of the Jordan River had been diverted. “The river is nothing more now than a stream,” he said. According to the Iraqi delegate, mosques had been desecrated or closed or turned into hideouts for beatniks. He said Jordan had sovereign rights over the Old City of Jerusalem. He warned Israel against playing with fire.

[Meanwhile, as reported by our correspondent in Geneva,] a call to the United Nations to “adopt a charter for development” was made by Mr M.M. Ahmed, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commision and leader of the Pakistan delegation to the 43rd session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council at the Palace of Nations here today [July 14]. Addressing the ECOSOC meeting Mr Ahmed said “the political scene around us, with world peace disturbed and threatened at many critical points, only highlights disappointments of UN Development Decade and underlines the urgent necessity of, progress and success in economic and social fields.”

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2017