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Jarring Mission Still Alive; General Assembly Committee to Discuss Hijacking Control

United Nations and United States spokesmen continued today to assert that the Middle East peace mission of Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring was still alive despite its suspension. A UN spokesman said the mission had merely been “temporarily postponed” by Dr. Jarring’s two-week return to Moscow, and that any pertinent developments here–that is, any move toward resumption of the negotiations by Egypt or Israel–would be transmitted to Dr. Jarring while he is away. Last Friday the spokesman said of Dr. Jarring, who is the Swedish ambassador to the Soviet Union, that “He will, of course, be available to come back to New York within 24 hours at any time that developments may warrant.” A U.S. spokesman, asked today to assess the prospects for the mission, replied: “I can’t comment on that,” but added “The initiative continues.” An informed Western source who declined attribution said his government “continues to attach importance” to the mission, and that Dr. Jarring’s departure “should in no sense be construed as an abandonment of his mission.”

The departure, the source said, “represents a realistic assessment that there is not much he can do in New York at the moment.” The source said there were “certain indications”–specifically, press reports from Cairo–that Egypt was agreeable to an extension of the cease–fire past its Nov. 6 expiration. Israel has maintained that it is honoring an “indefinite” cease-fire, not merely one of 90 days. Asked if any progress toward peace could be made by Nov. 6 If Israel returned to the talks by mid-October and the cease-fire were not extended, the source said: “I hope so–but it’s a tall order.” The Sixth, or Legal, Committee of the General Assembly accepted today a Philippine motion for a discussion of hijacking control. U.S. and British spokesmen endorsed the proposal, the latter adding that his government hope, “some significant advance” toward controls can be made. (London sources said today that the Health government had received no protest from Israel over Britain’s release of female hijacker Laila Khaled as part of a deal for the lives of 54 passengers abducted by Palestinian commandos. The sources said the British government had been in contact with Israeli officials in London, Tel Aviv and Berne, Switzerland, and that Israel “knew in advance what our plans were.” Israel, the sources said, had made no request for the extradition of Miss Khaled and no protest following her release.)

U.S. Ambassador Charles W. Yost advised General Assembly president Edvard I. Hambro of Norway over the weekend that as of Oct. 1, the U.S. had sent approximately 310 tons of relief supplies to Jordan in accordance with a request for international “humanitarian” aid made Sept. 24 by Dr. Hambro and Secretary General U Thant. Mr. Yost noted that President Nixon had “earmarked $5 million for emergency relief in Jordan.” The permanent representative of Ceylon, Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe, conferred with Mr. Thant today on the matter of what a UN spokesman called “Israeli practices in the occupied territories.” Ceylon has severed relations with Israel. On Friday, the General Assembly concluded its general debate, during which 70 speakers were heard since Sept. 17. In the closing days of the debate a number of speakers, chiefly from Arab states, assailed Israel for “obstructionist activities,” “dirty purposes,” territorial aggression and the desire for “the complete annihilation of the Palestinian people.”

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