Tunisian Prime Minister Hedi Nouira on Saturday (12 November) made an impassioned plea unity among the Arabs.
GV PAN EXTERIOR: Hilton Hotel, Tunis.
SV: Arrival of the Tunisian Prime Minister Hedi Nouira greeted by Arab League Secretary-General Mahmoud Riad and others.
LV & SV INTERIOR: Prime Minister speaking with Riad by his side on conference podium.
GV & SV: Conference in session with various foreign ministers seated.
According to the sources, Egypt feared a summit could produce a far less flexible approach to Geneva and lock Arab countries into set attitudes. Such a summit could lead to serious division on how the question of Geneva should be approached. Some hardline Arab countries were demanding negotiating positions which were difficult to reconcile with the compromises necessary for a successful peace conference.
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Background: Tunisian Prime Minister Hedi Nouira on Saturday (12 November) made an impassioned plea unity among the Arabs. His call came during a conference of Arab Foreign Ministers being held in the capital of Tunis.
SYNOPSIS: The Ministers, meeting at the Hilton Hotel, have assembled to fix a date for an Arab summit.
Among those waiting to greet the Prime Minister when he arrived to open the meeting was Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad.
Mr. Nouira said the challenge facing them was not only confined to some of their problems, but also "makes us doubt our own selves and our abilities". He told representatives from the 22 Arab League member states that none of them could face the challenge alone. "It is our duty and obligation", he said, "to follow collectively all means of action". Tunisian Foreign Minister Habib Chatty said a summit could be held before the end of the year. But conference sources said Egypt did not want an Arab summit before a Geneva peace meeting. A seven-man committee was appointed to discuss the whole question of a summit, and to provide the Foreign Ministers with a data and venue.