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Bush: Mideast Situation Exacerbated by Presence of Superpowers

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United States Ambassador George Bush denied last night that the United Nations has been an “abysmal failure” on the Middle East crisis, but conceded that the Mideast situation has been “made more terrible by the presence of the superpowers looking over the shoulders of the Israelis and the Arabs.” Over-all, he advised a UN Day dinner audience, “there is room not for complacency, but for some hope.” Bush noted that “It’s some comfort to say ‘ Well, at least they’re not shooting at one another,'” but he declared that “If the countries out there are to grab a hold of peace, more must happen.” He recommended, in that connection, the acceptance by the Mideast parties of an interim solution reopening the Suez Canal and mutual endorsement of the peace mission of UN intermediary Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring. “I say both these things can happen–both are worth the thoughtful consideration of all of us,” Bush said, He added that only with “support from the parties” could the UN “win a major victory” in the Mideast, Denying both that the UN has been an “abysmal failure” in the Mideast and that “peacekeeping is dead due to the unilateral withdrawal of UN forces,” the U.S. envoy remarked that “the UN can take a great deal of the credit for whatever periods of quiet have existed in the area.

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