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Waldheim Willing to Travel to Mideast

Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said today that he would be willing to travel to the Middle East in the interests of furthering a negotiated settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute. Answering questions at a luncheon with UN correspondents, Waldheim said that a visit by him to the Mideast might be useful but whether he makes it depends on consultations he is now holding with the Egyptian and Israeli UN Ambassadors.

Waldheim met yesterday with the Egyptian envoy, Abdel Meguid. He had a one-hour meeting today with the Israeli Ambassador, Yosef Tekoah. He also met today with the British Ambassador, Kenneth Jamieson, who is this month’s president of the Security Council.

Waldheim repeated what he said recently in Geneva, that the only way to solve the Mideast dispute is through negotiations but that the negotiations must be under UN auspices. He said the Security Council’s debate on the Middle East, scheduled to be resumed July 16. can be fruitful. But he added, public discussion by itself cannot solve the problem and that is why negotiations are needed.

Waldheim, who returned to New York last night, said he met in Geneva with President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia who told him that there had been no follow-up to his recent proposal for a meeting with an Israeli leader.

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