JERUSALEM (Jul. 15)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban met with Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the United Nations’ special envoy to the Middle East, in Zurich yesterday, it was disclosed here. The meeting was their first since April. It was understood that the initiative for the meeting was taken by Mr. Eban in line with Israel’s desire to have Dr. Jarring resume his peace-seeking mission in the Middle East.
That mission was suspended three months ago when the Four Power Mideast talks began in New York under UN auspices and Dr. Jarring returned to his post as Sweden’s Ambassador to Moscow. His meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister lasted 90 minutes. Informants here said Mr. Eban reiterated Israel’s view that peace could be achieved in the Middle East only through direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Their talk was described as of “an informative nature.” But Israeli officials are known to believe that the time is ripe for Dr. Jarring to resume his mediation efforts in view of the apparent failure of the Big Four talks and the impasse in bilateral talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the Israeli view, while Dr. Jarring’s efforts failed to yield any results they served to maintain some sort of dialogue and contact between Israel and the Arab states.
The official purpose of Foreign Minister Eban’s trip to Switzerland this week was to consult with Israeli envoys to Western European countries. He had a lengthy meeting yesterday with Walter Eytan, Israel’s Ambassador to France, on Franco-Israel relations in light of President Georges Pompidou’s statement last week that he would not lift the embargo on 50 Israeli Mirage V jets.