UNITED NATIONS (Aug. 25)
Six men–two Israelis, two Jordanian, an Egyptian and a Swede–are making and will make world history as negotiators and mediator in the Middle East peace talks. These men–all seasoned diplomats–have had their names in newspapers frequently over the years, but their backgrounds and personal achievements have been insufficiently explored. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency offers the following capsules of the principals in the peace talks. Yosef Takoah, 45, Israeli ambassador to the UN, is his country’s “alternate” representative at the negotiations. A Polish-born Zionist with an M.A. from Harvard University and a law degree from L’Universite Aurore in China, he was a representative to various General Assembly and Security Council sessions and negotiations from 1948 to 1958. He then served as deputy permanent envoy to the UN, permanent representative ad interim, ambassador to Brazil and ambassador to the Soviet Union. The former Harvard instructor has written two one-act plays, “Tree of Life” and “The Trial of Joseph Flavius.” Israel’s chief negotiator, arriving in about two months, is Abba Eban, 55, Foreign Minister and former Minister-Without-Portfollo, Minister of Education and Deputy Premier. The holder of several degrees, he was born in Capetown and educated at Cambridge and has seen service with the Jewish Agency and as permanent UN envoy and ambassador to the U.S. His books include “The Modern Literary Movement in Egypt,” “Maze of Justice,” “Zionism and the Arab World,” “Britain’s Middle East Strategy,” “Voice of Israel,” “Tide of National-ism,” “My People: The Story of the Jews” and “To Live or Perish.”
Dr. Gunnar Valfrid Jarring, 62, Swedish ambassador to the Soviet Union, on leave (without pay) as Secretary General U Thant’s personal Middle East mediator. A taciturn linguist, he has been Swedish ambassador to India, Ceylon, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and the United States, and mediated the Indian-Pakistani rift in 1957. Mohamed Hassan El Zayyat, 55, Egyptian ambassador to the UN. A former professor at Alexandria University, he has served as Minister to Teheran, ambassador to Somaliland, head of the Department of Arab Affairs, permanent delegate to the Arab League and ambassador to India. Abdul Hamid Sharaf, age undisclosed, Jordanian ambassador to the United States for the past year. His diplomatic background includes the posts of head of the Department of Arab and Palestine Affairs, director of the state broadcasting service, director of the political department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assistant chief of the royal cabinet and Minister of Information. After the initial stages of the talks Jordan will be represented by Dr. Muhammad Hussein El Farra, 47, ambassador to the UN, Before Joining the diplomatic service, Dr. El Farra lectured on American campuses and won Boston University’s Mathewson Prize for an essay on “Equity in Roman and Modern Law.” He has been chairman of the Jordanian delegation to the Arab League Conference on Palestine, vice president of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Minister Plenipotentiary to Cairo and to the Arab Council for Economic Unity and president of that council. On June 28 he declined appointment as Minister of Information.