Carter-faisal Meeting Causes Some Optimism About Geneva Talks Progress

President Carter was said to have “made some progress” towards reconvening the Geneva conference in his 90-minute meeting today at the White House with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance said “We just had a good meeting with the President. “He told reporters that “the discussions were constructive and I think we made some progress.” Vance refused to provide details. “We are in a very delicate stage,” he said with reference to U.S. activities for resuming the Geneva conference.

Faisal indicated that if there was progress it was not in the direction of eliminating the Palestine Liberation Organization from the conference deliberations. He told reporters that Saudi Arabia continues its position that the Palestinian question “can only be settled through the PLO.”

Carter was heard saying to the Saudi Arabian visitor during a picture-taking period that he might cancel his nine-nation II-day global trip beginning Nov. 22 if his energy proposals are not legislated by Congress before then.

The President said the Prince “now represents one of the nations that has been extremely helpful to us.” Saudi Arabia is one of the countries the President is scheduled to visit. The Prince remarked that the meeting today included discussion of “the oil situation and our joint hope” that the issues can be resolved. When Faisal spoke on national television Sunday, he spoke of a possible increase in oil prices while denying that Saudi Arabia would use its oil as a weapon in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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