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Big Four Welcome New Mideast Developments As Favorable for Resumption of Peace Mission

United States Ambassador Charles W. Yost announced late this afternoon that the Big Four, which met for three hours, discussed the latest developments in the Middle East “which are favorable for the resumption of Ambassador (Gunnar V.) Jarring’s mission. They welcomed these developments. Their discussion was successful and the Four agreed on a communication to the Secretary General (U Thant) which I shall be making this evening.” Earlier, the United States presented its Middle East peace plan and the Egyptian, Jordanian and Israeli responses to it at today’s Big Four meeting in the Waldorf Towers apartment of Ambassador Yost. Mr. Yost’s meeting this evening with Mr. Thant will be to apprise him of the reactions of the British. Soviet and French participants. The Secretary General is now expected to prepare a formal report to be presented to the Security Council in the future. He would then, it is understood, instruct Dr. Jarring to proceed with his mission. It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Thant would circulate his report among the Council membership or present it to them together in formal session. Ambassador Yost said the Big Four will continue consultations and meet next on August 19. The Big Four deputies, who were charged several months ago to draft a memorandum to determine the common ground between the four powers. will continue to work, Mr. Yost said. The role of the Big Four consultations in the future, sources said, would be to draft proposals in matters relating to possible new peace-keeping forces in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Jarring met yesterday with the ambassadors from the U.S., Israel, the Soviet Union, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon in his continuing consultations that began Monday after his arrival here Sunday from his vacation home in Sweden. A UN spokesman said today that there was no official information that Dr. Jarring would go to Jerusalem next week, as reported in Israel today. Spokesmen fielded a question regarding Dr. Jarring’s status–whether he is now in effect in the midst of a resumption of his mission or whether he was just engaged in consultations to determine whether his mission should be resumed. The UN spokesmen merely referred to Mr. Thant’s statement yesterday when he declared that he was encouraged by recent developments in the quest for a Middle East peace and noted that “Ambassador Jarring is here engaging in intensive consultations.” UN spokesmen were equally mum about where the talks would be held and when they would begin. They again referred to Mr. Thant’s statement in which he noted that many questions are at this time unanswerable or that prudence in the interest of progress dictates they remain unanswered for the time being.

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