Jarring Ready to Resume Mission if Israelis, Arabs Observe Cease-fire or Big Four Agree

Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring was described today by United Nations Under-Secretary Dr. Ralph J. Bunche as “on the alert” to resume his Middle East peace mission as soon as Secretary General U Thant feels there is a basis for the resumption. The basts. Dr. Bunche told a press conference would be either an agreement by the Israelis and Arabs to observe the cease-fire as spelled out in the UN Security Council resolution of November 22, 1967, or If the Big Four would arrive at some agreement which Mr. Thant would consider “positive.” Dr. Bunche neither confirmed nor denied a report today from diplomatic sources In London that Dr. Jarring plans to begin his mission next month if Israel joins Egypt and Jordan in accepting the United States peace plan. “Jarring is ready to go to work on our end of things whenever called upon to do so.” Dr. Bunche said. Noting that only Mr. Thant could advise his special peace envoy when to resume his mission, Dr. Bunche added he “had no doubt” that Dr. Jarring is “constantly on the alert” for word from Mr. Thant and would come to the UN headquarters “within hours” if Mr. Thant requested him to do so.

So far, however, “the Big Four talks have not produced anything yet to convince the Secretary General that there is a basis for deciding to tell Jarring to reactivate his work,” Dr. Bunche said. He added that the Secretary General’s office was in daily touch with the Swedish peace envoy who is currently vacationing near Copenhagen. Referring obliquely to Mr. Thant’s “no comment” stance on the U.S. peace plan. Dr. Bunche stated that this was due to Mr. Thant’s feeling that it is “premature to comment at this time.” The Under-Secretary said that the peace plan had been submitted to Jerusalem, Cairo, Amman and the Soviet Union and that copies of the plan had been submitted to both Dr. Jarring and Mr. Thant in Moscow “for information purposes.” Dr. Bunche noted that “no response was requested or required from the Secretary General. Response was expected from the parties. Some of the parties have responded (Egypt and Jordan) and one (Israel) did not. If the parties agreed to something,” Dr. Bunche continued, “the role of the UN would be easy and Jarring would be unlikely to be negative toward something the parties agreed to. Of course, if the parties do not agree the task is difficult.” Dr. Bunche also stated that the UN stands ready to do “whatever is necessary for peace keeping and observance of the cease-fire” and “will deliver without delay.”

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