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Waldheim Due to Leave for Geneva

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Secretary General Kurt Waldheim is expected to leave for Geneva this weekend in preparation for the Arab-Israeli peace conference scheduled to open Dec. 18. it was learned here today. To date, there has been no official word as to the exact nature of Waldheim’s participation in the peace conference. A UN spokesman said today only that Waldheim “will attend as a participant.”

Recently the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Waldheim was seeking a more meaningful role than the one of an observer. Diplomatic sources, however, said today that the Security Council is likely to meet this week to discuss Waldheim’s role at the Geneva conference. Some non-aligned members of the Security Council want Waldheim to preside over the conference and report to the Security Council on the conference, the JTA learned.

Meanwhile, informal consultations are taking place here between members of the Security Council with regard to the Geneva conference. Waldheim himself is continuing his meetings with diplomats on the Middle East situation. In recent days he has met with the UN Ambassadors of Israel. Egypt and the Soviet Union.

Responding to reports that Egypt wants to see France and Britain take part in the conference, a United Kingdom spokesman said today that the overriding priority is that “the talks should start.” He added. “If we are wanted we will be happy” to attend.

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