UNITED NATIONS (May. 21)
Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s Middle East report was described by Israel’s UN Ambassador Yosef Tekoah as “a melancholy chronicle of the known UN failure in peacemaking” in the Middle East. In a statement issued to the press this morning. Tekoah claimed that the UN’s failure resulted “in particular from Egypt’s persistent refusal to enter with Israel into negotiations without preconditions.”
Observers here said, however, that Israel seemed satisfied with Waldheim’s low key report but there were unconfirmed reports that the Arabs were unhappy with it. The observers said the report implied that the Jarring mission was a failure and that the methods used so far in the quest for a Mideast settlement should be re-examined.
Tekoah said that the report’s “salient fact is that throughout the years the UN has not succeeded in bringing Israel and the Arab states into a meaningful dialogue. All other methods have been tried and have failed.” The Israeli envoy added that “The principal conclusion to be drawn from the report is, therefore, that without dialogue between the parties to the conflict there can be no progress toward a peaceful agreement in the Middle East.” He observed that “if there is still a role to be played by the UN in the Middle East situation, it is to encourage and assist the parties in initiating a process of general negotiations.”
(Political sources in Jerusalem said that an official reaction to Waldheim’s report would be forthcoming tomorrow. Premier Golda Meir is expected to comment on the report at a foreign press luncheon tomorrow.)