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Waldheim Wants More Than Observer Role for UN in Peace Conference

November 28, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary General Kurt Waldheim wants more than just an “observer” role for the United Nations at the Middle East peace conference scheduled to start in Geneva Dec. 18, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. The participants in the conference, as reportedly envisioned by U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, will be Israel, Egypt Syria and Jordan, the U.S. and the Soviet Union and Dr. Waldheim as an “observer.”

A UN spokesman said today, however, that an “observer role is not in line with what he (Waldheim) discussed with Kissinger. “The spokesman referred to the discussion between Waldheim and Kissinger in Washington last Friday. At the same time, a U.S. spokesman here hinted that the UN role would be something more than that of an observer. “It was understood” in the Kissinger-Waldheim discussion “that there certainly will a UN presence and participation in this conference,” the American spokesman said.

The JTA also learned that there are continuing contacts here as to the exact nature of Waldheim’s participation in the Geneva conference. The UN was said by one observer to be seeking a “prestigious and meaningful role” that could help the parties reach a heretofore elusive peace agreement.

A spokesman for the British UN Mission said the conference should be held “under a UN umbrella” which he admitted was an extremely broad concept that could mean “anything or nothing.” The Geneva conference, meanwhile, continued to be the main issue here. Waldheim met on the subject today with the Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik. He met with the British and the French Ambassadors yesterday.

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