UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Dec. 3)
Gunnar V. Jarring, the special Middle East representative of Secretary-General U Thant, is resuming his duties as Sweden’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union. But he is not resigning his UN mediating post. In a letter to Mr. Thant made public today, Dr. Jarring said he will hold a new round of discussions with Middle East officials in mid-January, giving them time before then to consider their respective positions on the Middle East deadlock. Dr. Jarring, whose mission is Just one year old, returned this week to his Cyprus headquarters and conferred with Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He will meet with Arab diplomats shortly and then go to Moscow.
In a letter to Dr. Jarring, Mr. Thant voiced commendation for a “sound judgment and fine sense of timing which you have demonstrated in taking initiatives and considering new ones which in the nature of the case must remain strictly within the realm of quiet diplomacy.” The wording of Mr. Thant’s letter raised questions about whether Dr. Jarring had taken “initiatives” in his meetings with Israeli and Arab diplomats or had, as the UN maintains, been acting as a “mailbox” receiving and delivering questions and statements from both sides. An Israeli spokesman here denied that Dr. Jarring had taken any initiatives.