Intense Diplomatic Activity Fails to Break Through Mideast Stalemate
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Intense Diplomatic Activity Fails to Break Through Mideast Stalemate

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A flurry of diplomatic activity here, in Washington, London, Cairo and Jerusalem, gave rise to reports today that some new basis had been reached for negotiation of a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. These reports followed a two-hour meeting yesterday between Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg and Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad of Egypt, and a day of intense activity by Sir Harold Beeley, special representative of Foreign Secretary George Brown of Britain, in Cairo.

Mr. Goldberg met this morning with Secretary-General U Thant in the company of Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco and said later that he hoped to meet soon with Vasily Kuznetsov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, who arrived here to take part in the Middle East talks. Mr. Kuznetsov conferred with Mr. Thant today and was to meet the Egyptian foreign minister later. Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Sisco had a meeting this afternoon with Ambassador Gideon Rafael of Israel.

Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban of Israel, left New York for Jerusalem yesterday and reported to the Israel Cabinet today. Some diplomatic sources here said that Mr. Eban was seeking Government agreement to modify its insistence on direct negotiations with the Arabs. These sources expressed belief that a proposal was being worked out that involved Arab-Israel negotiations through a United Nations mediator a special representative of the Secretary-General.

Mr. Goldberg, who declined to reveal the nature of his talks with the Egyptian foreign minister, stressed today that “the United States position remains consistent.” In Washington, State Department sources were equally firm in insisting that they knew of no basis for improved hopes for an Arab-Israeli settlement and said the status quo remained in effect and no early “breakthrough” was envisaged.


Plans were nearing completion today for a Security Council meeting either on Friday or next Monday to resume consideration of the Middle East problem. Mr. Goldberg told newsmen today that the United States favored this move and held that the Council was the proper organ to discuss the Middle East question. The diplomat said he did not know of the existence of any new draft resolutions on the Middle East to be considered by the Council.

JTA dispatches from Jerusalem and London today indicated that the Israel Government had expressed displeasure to London over British attempts to find a compromise formula for the Middle East which, in Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s words, took no account of Israel’s basic needs. Mr. Eshkol summoned Michael Hadow, the British Ambassador, to Jerusalem yesterday and warned him that the British initiative only served to bolster Arab intransigence. In London, the Daily Telegraph has been sharply critical of Foreign Secretary Brown and chided him for not making it clear that in seeking restoration of relations with Egypt, Britain was not offering a “package deal at the expense of others.”

Jordan took reprisals today for the action by Israel yesterday in complaining to the Security Council that the Hashemite Kingdom was sparking a new wave of incidents and incitement in the West Bank areas occupied by Israel. The Jordanians, in turn, filed a complaint with the Security Council accusing Israel of a “campaign of terror, murder and torture” on the West Bank area as “an integral part of a sinister Israeli plan to force the inhabitants…to abandon their homes and property to make room for a new Jewish settlers.”

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