JERUSALEM (May. 27)
Official sources here have poured cold water on Senegal’s President Leopold Senghor’s apparent interest in playing the role of mediator in the Mideast conflict. These sources said they questioned Senghor’s objectivity and neutrality–in view of the fact that his country had broken its diplomatic ties with Israel during the Yom Kippur War and has done nothing to renew them. The sources said there have been no direct contacts between Senghor and Israel.
According to reports from the U.S., Senghor met Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, in Paris recently, and today Senghor met with several leaders of American Jewish organizations in New York. (There was no immediate comment from the Jewish leaders as to the nature of the meeting. A spokesman said that a statement may be forthcoming tomorrow.)
The official sources here stressed that contacts with diaspora Jewish leaders could not be a substitute for normal diplomatic relations with Israel. To effectively mediate, the sources added, a mediator needs good relations with both parties to the conflict.