Thant Views U.s., Soviet Peace Plans As Complementary and Tending to Narrow Gap

Secretary General U Thant views the current United States and Soviet proposals on the Middle East as being complementary and tending to narrow the gap according to a statement today by a United Nations spokesman. The statement was authorized by the Secretary General in connection with his visit to Washington and meeting with President Richard M. Nixon last Friday. The Secretary General said that his White House meeting that lasted slightly over an hour was focused primarily on the Middle East. In the view of the Secretary General, the latest United States proposal has positive elements and is a helpful advance in the U.S. position, the release said. Prior to meeting the President, Mr. Thant was given an extensive briefing on the Mideast situation and a detailed explanation of the latest U.S. proposals by Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco. At a press conference in Geneva last Tuesday, Mr. Thant commented that the latest Soviet proposals on the Mideast were “interesting,” “realistic” and “concrete.” An inference by certain newsmen that he considered the Russian proposals superior to the American was denied by the Secretary General.

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