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Tekoah Disputes View That Interim Talks Are Doomed to Failure; Says Chances Are Now Better Than Ever

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Yosef Tekoah, met with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim yesterday and disputed the latter’s view, expressed at recent press conferences in Rome and New York, that the American initiative for “close proximity” talks between Israel and Egypt to reach an interim Suez accord were doomed to failure and that efforts to reach a Middle East settlement must be concentrated in the mission of UN mediator Gunnar V. Jarring.

The report of Tekoah’s meeting with Waldheim was released here prior to Dr. Waldhaim’s latest press conference today in New York at which the Secretary General modified his views somewhat on the subject of interim talks. Tekoah reportedly made it clear that Israel at present believes chances for an interim agreement are far better and therefore it should be given priority.

Tekoah also reiterated the Israeli position that Dr. Jarring’s terms of reference derived from the Security Council’s Resolution 242 of Nov. 22, 1967 and not from last fall’s Egyptian inspired General Assembly resolution. Waldheim agreed that from a legal point of view Israel’s position is correct. Waldheim did not reply to Tekoah on all points.