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Thant Going to Moscow, May Meet with Jarring; Big Four Talks Still Deadlocked

A spokesman for the United Nations said today that Secretary General U Thant will visit the Soviet Union next month in response to “a long standing invitation.” Although there was no immediate indication that Mr. Thant would discuss anything beyond the crisis in Southeast Asia with Soviet officials, sources said it was “quite likely” he would see Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring, the Swedish ambassador to the Soviet Union and Mr. Thant’s special peace envoy to the Middle East. The UN spokesman said he “knew of no plans for Ambassador Jarring to return to his United Nations headquarters” in the immediate future. “Certainly not before June 14,” he added, alluding to the time of Mr. Thant’s visit to the USSR after stopovers in London and The Hague.

There had been expectations last week that Dr. Jarring might return to the UN and possibly resume his Middle East peace mission if the Big Four ambassadors received even an “interim” memorandum on the progress of their talks being worked on by their deputies. The Big Four, which are scheduled to meet again June 12, with the deputies meeting in the meantime, failed to make any progress in their meeting yesterday. Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik was reported to have continued his policy of “non-cooperation” and “intransigence” he has shown in the past few weeks, especially toward the United States. Mr. Malik reportedly continued to display the hostility he expressed in recent Security Council” meetings in which he compared Israel’s actions against Lebanon to U.S. aggression in Cambodia. The four ambassadors have been deadlocked in their talks since they began 14 months ago over the issue of having Israel commit herself to withdrawal from all occupied territories.

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