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Israel Invites U.N. to Play Full Role in Regional Talks

Israel has invited the United Nations to play a full role in the multilateral talks on Middle East regional issues, and the world body has gladly accepted.

The subject came up Wednesday evening at a meeting here between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Until now, the United Nations has participated in the multilateral talks only as an observer. But Peres told BoutrosGhali, an Egyptian, that Israel’s new Labor government would accept the United Nations as a full participant in the talks, which the foreign minister oversees for Israel.

During the meeting, Boutros-Ghali promised to work toward having anti-Israel resolutions still officially on the books of the U.N. General Assembly removed, such as the one that condemned the Israeli bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

The secretary-general also offered his support for Israel’s quest to join the Western European and Others regional bloc at the United Nations. Membership in a regional bloc is effectively a precondition for nomination to the Security Council and other prominent U.N. posts.

But the first issue raised was the fate of Israeli prisoners believed held in Lebanon, foremost among them Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad.

Boutros-Ghali reiterated earlier promises to work for the release of missing Israelis, saying he himself was heading the effort on the matter.

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