Israel Prepares for Waldheim
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Israel Prepares for Waldheim

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Authoritative sources said here today that UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s current visit to the Middle East was undertaken to advance the possibility of peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab states and that anyone who contributes to that goal will have the blessings and support of Israel.

Waldheim arrives at Lod Airport tomorrow from Cyprus, having spent Monday and Tuesday in Damascus and Beirut, respectively. The sources said he has assured Israel that his visit has no connection with Security Council Resolution 242 or with the Middle East peace mission of Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the Secretary General’s special envoy to the Mideast. The Waldheim tour is considered a positive step here because it shows, that efforts to break the Mideast deadlock are possible even though Dr. Jarring’s mission has been in suspension since early 1971.

The sources said that Israel will try to convince the Secretary General of its sincere wish to establish peace based on secure boundaries and would continue to maintain communications with Waldheim after the conclusion of his visit. The Egyptians are expected to try to convince Waldheim that Israel is the main obstacle to peace, the sources said. He will be in Cairo on Saturday and in Amman next Monday.


Apart from the Middle East problem as such, Waldheim is expected to hear complaints from Israeli leaders about the biased UN attitude toward Israel. It will be pointed out to him that Israel is never chosen to any important institutions of the UN, that the world organization is overly influenced by political blocs and that many of its humanitarian agencies are used as forums to attack Israel, the sources said. Israeli leaders are also expected to discuss with Waldheim the problem of Jews in the Soviet Union.

The Secretary General’s agenda in Israel has not been announced. It was learned, however, that he will pay a courtesy call to President Ephraim Katzir immediately after his arrival and will visit the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, He will also visit Christian holy places in East Jerusalem but in a private capacity because the UN does not recognize Israeli sovereignty in that sector. Most of the Secretary General’s visit is expected to be occupied, in talks with Premier Golda Meir and Foreign Minister Abba Eban.

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