UNITED NATIONS, N.Y (Feb. 23)
Diplomatic circles here and in Jerusalem today welcomed the forthcoming resumption in the Middle East of United Nations special envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring’s peace mission. Some Israelis viewed his imminent return to Cyprus to renew the mission that he suspended late last year as indicative that no substantial progress had been achieved in bi-lateral talks among the Big Four at United Nations headquarters. Secretary-General U Thant’s special representative was expected to return via his home in Sweden to his Nicosia headquarters Tuesday and was expected to visit Jerusalem, Cairo and Jordan in an effort to bring the contending parties together on a settlement and tamp down the escalating Mideast violence.
The decision to send Dr. Jarring on another circuit of the capitals was made despite a reported lack of progress in conversation among the United States, French, Russian and British UN envoys aimed at seeking an accord that would strengthen his mission.
Those nations have been conferring on the possibility of holding a formal, full-dress Big Four Conference to work out a program for a Mideast settlement to be effected by Dr. Jarring. The United States was said to be resisting, a French and Soviet desire to have the UN impose peace–an approach that Israel likens to a “Munich settlement.” The U.S. was said to be awaiting answers from the other major powers on a proposed Four Power statement re-endorsing the Jarring mission, which was mandated by the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast peace resolution.
Dr. Jarring, who suspended his Mideast-circuit riding late last summer in favor of direct action at UN headquarters, resumed his position as Sweden’s Ambassador to Moscow late last year and returned to the UN Secretariat in January. He was expected to report back to the UN following his latest contacts with the Arabs and Israel. He was apparently dissuaded by the major powers from his decision, leaked to the press last week, to give up his UN mission unless there were signs that it would not be fruitless.