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Jarring Returning to UN to Confer with Thant, Big Four and Israeli, Arab Ambassadors

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Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the United Nations special Middle East peace envoy, is scheduled to arrive here tonight to begin consultations with Secretary General U Thant “and others on the current situation and on possible next steps” toward an Israeli-Arab settlement, it was announced here. The “others” referred to in the announcement by the Secretary General’s office was believed to refer to the Big Four ambassadors and the ambassadors of Israel, Egypt and Jordan. A UN spokesman said Dr. Jarring’s length of stay in New York and his course of action in the immediate future “will be determined during his talks here.” Possible mediation sites for his talks include New York. Geneva, and Nicosia. The Big Four ambassadors, who have been working on a Mideast peace formula since April 1969, are scheduled to meet next Wednesday. Sources here said they would discuss the acceptance of the U.S. peace plan by Israel. Egypt and Jordan and which has also been approved by the Soviet Union, and report the results of their deliberation to Mr. Thant. In addition, sources observed, the Big Four could also be expected to seek agreement among themselves on details of carrying out the 90-day cease-fire truce.

The Soviet Union and France have reportedly discussed a possible Big Four draft statement recognizing the responses by the three Mideast nations to the U.S. proposals. Although the statement would be couched in general terms. it would, observers say, be sufficient for Mr. Thant to refer it formally to the Security Council. Mr. Thant summoned Dr. Jarring from his vacation home in Viken, Sweden, on Friday after Israel announced it would appoint a representative to confer with the Swedish ambassador. Last Wednesday. UN Under-Secretary Dr. Ralph J. Bunche said the UN stands ready to do “whatever is necessary for peace keeping and observance of the cease-fire” and will “deliver without delay.” One of the first UN actions. Dr. Bunche stated. would be the reestablishment of the eight observation posts along the Suez Canal – four on each side – that had been destroyed or damaged by Egyptian and Israeli artillery fire. There are currently 10 observation posts – five on each side of the Canal – staffed by 94 members of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), Maj. Gen. Ensio Siilasvuo of Finland, who replaced Gen. Odd Bull as chief of the UNTSO forces yesterday, discussed the possibility of beefing up the UNTSO forces during his visit to the UN last week. Strengthening the UNTSO force is required to make certain that the 90-day cease-fire truce is not used for re-enforcing either the Israeli or the Arabs in their military weaponry.

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