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Thant Announces Jarring Will Return to Middle East to Pursue Peace Efforts

United Nations special Middle East peace envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring will return in “the near future” to his Nicosia, Cyprus headquarters to pursue his mediation efforts, it was revealed here today. Secretary-General U Thant said that both he and Dr. Jarring deemed it “important and advisable” to pursue the latter’s efforts “to promote agreement among the parties” and his peace mission will therefore continue.

Mr. Thant revealed this information today in a progress report to the Security Council on the peace mission. His report contained a summary of Dr. Jarring’s peace efforts since March 29. when the last report to the Council was submitted. Dr. Jarring has been conducting his mission at the UN in recent months.

In another development, Mr. Thant still has “under consideration” his plan – announced several months ago – for the sending of a special United Nations representative to deal with “humanitarian” issues affecting the civilian populations in the Middle East. A spokesman for Mr. Thant made that statement here today in response to a question on the matter at a news briefing.

Since Mr. Thant’s original announcement about the special envoy, Israel requested that such a representative be authorized to examine the situation of Jews imprisoned and otherwise harassed since the June, 1967 Six-Day War in Egypt, Syria and Iraq. However, the Arab bloc at the UN has obtained a ruling from the UN legal department to the effect that, under a General Assembly resolution adopted last July, any UN envoy probing this situation must restrict his activities to the former Arab areas occupied by Israel during the war.

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