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Emissary Tries to Convince Shamir U.N. Could Facilitate Peace Process

A visiting U.N. envoy tried and apparently failed Monday to convince Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that the United Nations would never impose its will on the Middle East peace process and only wants to help advance it.

Edouard Brunner, a Swiss diplomat acting as a special emissary of U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, is touring the region to determine the state of the peace initiative undertaken by the United States.

He assured Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy on Sunday that is his sole purpose and there would be no U.N. interference.

Israel rejects any role whatsoever for the world organization, which it believes is biased in favor of the Arabs.

Shamir told Brunner that Israel has no faith in international peace conferences. The only way to reach peace agreements is by direct negotiations, he insisted.

According to Shamir, the problem lies with Israel’s neighbors, notably Syria, which he said refuses to recognize Israel or “to utter the word peace.”

“If people don’t want the United Nations to be part of negotiations, it is not our business to impose ourselves,” Brunner said.

The envoy added, however, that there are several U.N. resolutions which the world community needs to have implemented, in order to bring about peace.

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