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Waldheim Urges World Confab to Reach Settlement on Mideast Conflict

Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said today that he still believes that a well-prepared international conference involving all parties concerned is the best way to reach a settlement in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Addressing a press conference here, Waldheim said he did not know what the outcome of the autonomy talks between Egypt, Israel and the United States would be. He only knew, he said, that there are difficulties and that there has been no progress until now.

Waldheim said that from his recent discussions with various heads of state, it was his impression that the Arab governments favor an international conference on the Mideast, while the big powers prefer to wait and see how things develop in the present process of direct negotiations. He disclosed that following the Camp David agreements, the Soviet Union told him that it was not in favor of a Geneva peace conference under the new circumstances.

Waldheim reiterated his assessment that the Palestinian question is the “crux” of the Mideast conflict. He said peace in the Mideast is one of the greatest challenges of our time. (By Yitzhak Rabi)