Waldheim Pessimistic About Early Reconvening of Geneva Conference

UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said here today that wide differences over procedure and substance between Israel and the Arab states would delay reconvening the Geneva conference until “September, October, if we are lucky.” Speaking to reporters after a meeting with President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Waldheim stressed that the conference had to be carefully prepared in advance “otherwise it will be a failure and that would be counter-productive.”

Waldheim said “We are still far away from an agreement on procedural matters and on substance. There is still a lot of difference as regards procedure, the question of the participation of the PLO and on the other hand, on the substance, the creation of a Palestinian state which is requested by the Palestinians as well as by the Arabs and rejected by the Israelis.”

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