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Waldheim Calls for Comprehensive Mideast Settlement

February 16, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary General Kurt Waldheim declared today that “the Mideast problem could be solved only on a comprehensive basis with participation of all parties concerned in the negotiating process.”

Waldheim’s remarks, made at a press conference here, were made against the background of the revived Israeli-Egyptian talks, scheduled to start next Wednesday at Comp David. Waldheim, warning that “we are faced with a very serious situation” in the Mideast said that “whatever happened with the bilateral approach,” a comprehensive Mideast settlement will be reached only through the participation of all the parties, including the two co-chairmen of the Geneva peace conference, the United States and the Soviet Union.

Waldheim, who reiterated time and again his view that the Mideast conflict should be resolved through are-convened Geneva conference, in which the United Nations would also participate, said that he was approached recently “by some countries” to study the possibility of going back “to the International approach, the multilateral approach,” in order to reach a Mideast settlement. He did not identify the “countries,” The Secretary General also declared that “the Palestinian issue” remains “a key issue” in any future settlement in the Mideast.

In his opening remarks, Waldheim complained that members of the United Nations do not turn to the organization for help in salving their conflicts. When asked late by a reporter to comment on the fact that Israel, for instance, does not seek the help of the United Nations because it considers the General Assembly biased against it, Waldheim replied that he cannot see how the Assembly could be “impartial” toward Israel because the Assembly deals with “occupied territories. The West Bank, the Gaza, all these are occupied territories.”

The issue was further pursued by another reporter who noted that the Mideast conflict is not only about occupied territories and asked Waldheim if he does not see a biased treatment of Issue by such General Assembly resolutions as the one that equated Zionism with racism. Waldheim refused comment on this question.

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