Waldheim: Will Welcome Any Initiative to Solve the Middle East Conflict

UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said today that he would welcome any initiative to solve the Middle East conflict from wherever it may come, including the new U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Henry A, Kissinger. Waldheim called the Middle East situation “very serious and very dangerous” but said he hoped it would be solved with the help of the Big Powers.

The Secretary General, appearing on the ABC television program “Issues and Answers,” said that on his recent visit to Israel and four Arab countries he found that all the parties to the conflict want a peaceful solution. “It is only the concept on the peace that is different and my visit helped me find out there are areas where progress can be made,” Waldheim said. “The important thing is that we make progress and get out of the deadlock we are in right now,” he added. He said the crux of the problem was the Israeli occupation of territory seized in the 1967 war.

Waldheim will confer with Dr. Kissinger at the UN tomorrow before Kissinger addresses the General Assembly. Asked about reports that several Arab diplomats intend to boycott a luncheon Tuesday to which Dr. Kissinger reportedly invited the representatives of all the Arab states, Waldheim replied, “This is a social occasion and I do not think this would influence the efforts of Mr. Kissinger in finding or contributing to a solution of the Middle East problem.”

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