Waldheim Says Mideast Tour Has Given Him Basis for Determining How Best to Proceed to Find Solution

Secretary General Kurt Waldheim arrived in Algiers today for the summit conference of non-aligned nations. He will address the gathering tomorrow, a UN spokesman said. The spokesman added that Waldheim is not expected to return to New York until next week. Sources here pointed out that his attendance at the non-aligned conference was in line with a pattern established by previous secretary generals.

Waldheim ended his nine-day Mideast tour in Amman, Jordan, today. He said his visits to five nations in the region gave him an “excellent insight” into the problems they faced. “I am now in a better position to decide, after my return to New York, how to proceed further and how we in the United Nations can help in order to find a satisfactory solution” to the Middle East conflict, he said.

Waldheim said that the next steps will be “decided in the light of the information and positions I got explained by the different governments. The forthcoming General Assembly meeting which will start in two weeks will give me that opportunity to continue the contacts I have started here in the area and to decide then how to proceed further.” He stressed that the UN has a clear mandate to seek a Middle East settlement based on Security Council Resolution 242.

In the Jordanian capital, Waldheim met with King Hussein, Crown Prince Hassan and Premier Zeid al-Rifai, He also visited a Palestinian refugee camp. He remarked afterward that the visit had convinced him of the importance of finding a “real solution” to the Middle East problem. “I could see in my own eyes how tragic the situation of the refugees is,” Waldheim said.

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