De Cuellar Stresses Urgency for Mid-east Solution but Sees No International Conference at Present

United Nations Secretary General Javier Perezde Cuellar conceded today that the projected international conference on the Middle East, approved by the UN General Assembly, has little chance of taking place at the present time because both the United States and Israel are opposed.

Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to do something about the Middle East and do it as soon as possible because, although relatively quiet at the moment, it remains one of the most dangerous areas of tension in the world, de Cuellar told a press conference here today following his first Middle East tour since taking office. He was referring to the Arab-Israel conflict.

He said that during his recent visit to Israel, Jordan Syria, Egypt and Lebanon he found a sincere with for a solution to the conflict. He said it was possible, after the Israeli parliamentary elections July 23 and the U.S. Presidential elections next November, that the five permanent members of the Security Council and the parties concerned in the region, could meet and appoint working groups to negotiate a comprehensive solution.

Asked about his planned meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat scheduled here early next week, de Cuellar said it was important for him to hear what Arafat has to say in order to complete his picture of the Middle East situation.

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