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Top U.N. Leader Sees Arab-israel Peace Talks Possible in Two Years

A United States resolution calling for the establishment by the United Nations of a study committee to consult “all the parties and recommendations” on the Middle East crisis with a view to eventually reaching an Arab-Israel peace will be voted by the UN General Assembly after the New Year’s recess, it was indicated here today by one of the very highest officers of the General Assembly.

The top UN officer was certain that the resolution–introduced by the American delegation on November 3–would be adopted. The General Assembly is scheduled to recess for the holidays December 22 and resume work on January 2.

Asked whether the U.S. resolution satisfied him, since it calls only for further study of the Middle East crisis, this highly authoritative source said: “Well, in the course of consulting the Israelis and the Arabs, this committee could feel out both sides about their desire for peace talks. The committee could even urge that direct negotiations should be undertaken–ultimately. Now is not the time for such negotiations. Tempers are too hot. Perhaps in two years’ time–yes, in two years, this step might be undertaken.”

Two members of the American delegation at the UN are of a similar opinion. They too note of the statement made here last week by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, that Israel could be ready to make peace with the Arabs within 24 hours, but claimed that there are too many hurdles that cannot be surmounted in less time than two years.

Some Arab delegations here are voicing the line that peace talks with Israel cannot be held now, but “perhaps this will be possible about two years from now.” It seems that important delegations at the United Nations are falling for this “line, which plays into the hands of the Arabs.

Latin American delegations which are usually friendly to Israel are now falling under the influence of propaganda by Vatican spokesmen here that the internationalization of Jerusalem must not be forgotten. Since Israel as well as Jordan oppose such internationalization, the Vatican move at this time is considered another stumbling block to peace negotiations.

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