JERUSALEM (Feb. 23)
The United Nations peace emissary to the Middle East, Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, left Jordan today after repeating that he has not changed his mind about the situation in the area. His remark was interpreted in Amman as meaning that Dr. Jarring has not retreated from his Feb. 8, 1971 aide-memoire which asked Israel for a commitment to withdraw to the former international boundaries with Egypt. The Jarring memo, which Israel rejected, resulted in a stalemate in his peace mission which Dr. Jarring seems to be trying to break.
He visited Cairo last week on his own initiative and went from there to his old headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus where he met with the Israeli Ambassador, Rachamim Timor, to arrange to visit Jerusalem. Dr. Jarring is expected here Friday for a meeting with Foreign Minister Abba Eban. Sources here said that inasmuch as Dr. Jarring has apparently not changed his mind and has nothing new to offer, his motive in arranging to visit Israel at this time was that it would appear strange, if he visited Egypt and Jordan but not Israel.
Official circles here said today that Jarring’s stop-over in Jordan at the invitation of the Hussein government, was probably intended only to keep Jordanian authorities posted on the latest positions of Egypt and Israel. He said on his arrival at Amman Airport that his peace-seeking mandate under the Security Council’s Resolution 242 of Nov. 22, 1967 embraced the conflict between Jordan and Israel no less than the other Arab-Israeli disputes.
Officials here pointed out that while there is no obstacle to progress in negotiations between Israel and Jordan such as the Jarring memo of 12 months ago, such progress is only theoretical inasmuch as Egypt is the key country in any efforts to settle the Middle East conflict.
According to reliable sources here, the US State Department shares some of Israel’s misgivings over Jarring’s present junket. The Americans believe he may reduce chances for their initiative to promote interim talks between Israel and Egypt aimed at reopening the Suez Canal, the sources said. They expressed the view that the US may not be quite so open about its misgivings as Israel because of the American moral commitments to the UN and its organs. However, the basic attitudes in Washington and Jerusalem are the same, they said.