UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 18)
With only three days remaining before the Middle East peace conference is due to open in Geneva, Secretary General Kurt Waldheim still has not received the letter from the United States and the Soviet Union inviting him to attend and asking him to invite the other participants–Israel. Egypt. Jordan, Syria it was learned here today. A UN spokesman said that the Secretary General’s plans to leave for Geneva are “very tentative.” The absence of formal invitations until now led some observers to speculate that another postponement might be made.
Israeli sources here, however, expressed confidence that the Geneva conference would open Friday as scheduled. They apparently based their view on Israel’s agreement, after assurances from Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger in Jerusalem Sunday and Monday, to the conference ground rules. The main stumbling block for Israel had been the nature of the United Nations’ role at the conference which they prefer to be symbolic rather than active.
ASSEMBLY TO SUSPEND, NOT ADJOURN
In another development here. General Assembly President Leopoldo Benites of Ecuador was expected to announce late this afternoon that the that the Assembly’s 28th session would not he adjourning today as originally scheduled but would suspend, meaning that it could be reconvened again on short notice. Some sources here said the change of plans was not related to the Geneva conference. Others observed that the Assembly was standing by to intervene should snags develop at Geneva. It was recalled that the Assembly had suspended rather than adjourned on two previous occasions–in 1967 and 1968. (Yitzhak Rabi)