UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Jul. 9)
Secretary General U Thant will be in Washington tomorrow to confer with President Nixol, it was announced here today. It is expected that the two officials will discuss the situation in the Middle East. Mr. Thant, who had originally been invited to come to the White House before he went to Europe last month, will also attend a state dinner tomorrow night. Sources here said that the original invitation did not include a conference with President Nixon. The meeting with President Nixon, according to sources, was arranged, presumably at Mr. Thant’s request, since his return from Europe and his visit to the Soviet Union. The Secretary General’s meeting with Mr. Nixon is considered of vital importance in view of the developments in the past few days. During Mr. Thant’s eight-day visit to Geneva he told a press conference that he considered the Soviet peace plan as containing “new,” “concrete,” interesting,” and “realistic” elements but declined to compare it with the American peace plan. Mr. Thant, who was briefed by both the Soviet and American officials in Moscow regarding their respective peace proposals, has so far declined to disclose the contents of both plans. Sources here felt that Mr. Thant’s meeting with Mr. Nixon will provide the President with a chance to brief Mr. Thant as intensively as it is believed he was briefed by Soviet officials.
A UN spokesman said the Secretary General had no comment on an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement in Jerusalem yesterday implying that Mr. Thant had been brainwashed by Kremlin leaders. His observations at the press conference in Geneva Tuesday regarding the reported Soviet peace initiative for the Mideast led the Israelis to contend that Mr. Thant’s remarks “certainly seem to reflect the very intensive briefing to which the Secretary General appears to have been subjected during his recent stay in Moscow.” The UN spokesman also said Mr. Thant would not elaborate on his Geneva remarks referring to offensive and defensive weapons in the Middle East except to state “My views on this matter are well known.” The Burmese diplomat, addressing the opening session today of the UN’s World Youth Assembly advised the delegates that the Mideast conflict continued without basic implementation of the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution because members states had failed to live up to the UN Charter’s “restrictions on national sovereignty.” Until they do, “we will not have true peace at the international level,” he said, adding: “I am very much concerned that the present unsatisfactory state of affairs (in the Mideast and in Indochina) will continue as long as nations feel free to act in accordance with the concept of unlimited national sovereignty.”
Meanwhile, the Youth Assembly was under heavy behind-the-scenes bombardment from the Soviet-Arab bloc nations to circumscribe the influence of the “imperialist” United States and Great Britain, and the “aggressor” Israel. A Youth Assembly steering committee elected this morning was, according to one observer, “the voice of the Soviet-Arab bloc establishment.” Of the 18-member committee, one was from Egypt, one regular and one alternate member from the Soviet Union, one representing the General Union of Palestine Students, and one from Rumania. There were no youths on the steering committee from Israel, the U.S. or Great Britain. On Tuesday, the Soviet delegation to the Youth Assembly expressed its “solidarity” and “ardent support” of the youth of the Arab states “who are in the front line of the struggle against Israeli aggression.” Delegates from the Arab nations and the GUPS refused to attend a party given by New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay for the youth delegates because of Lindsay’s pro-Israel views. During the day yesterday the five delegates from Israel approached the 30 delegates from Arab youth organizations with a suggestion that they meet privately to discuss their common interests in seeking peace and ending the war in the Middle East based on the UN Security Council resolution of November 1967. The Israeli youths reported their offer to meet was “rudely rejected” by the Arabs. Delegates to the Assembly do not technically represent the country from which they are sent but “representative” youth groups within the country. Complaints, however, were lodged by some delegations that delegates from some countries were “hand-picked” by their governments.