The United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, has said that the next weeks will be decisive in determining whether the 1973 Middle East Peace conference could be reconvened.
SV: UN Secretary-General Waldheim speaking.
WALDHEIM: "The situation is completely open. The points of view are opposing each other. There is absolutely no rapprochement in this regard. The P.L.O. is insisting to get recognition of its political status in any such resolution. For instance through an amendment of 242 or through a new resolution of the Security Council. Now this is strongly opposed by Israel, so for the time being we have not made any progress in this regard, but I wish to say that in my opinion this is of crucial importance, this question is of crucial importance for any future Middle East settlement because it deals with the reciprocal recognition of the two sides-Israel and the Palestinians. So some way will have to be found to overcome this difficulty and I think that the next few weeks will be of decisive importance whether or not we are able to reconvene the Geneva Conference. Because this is one of the main points. What are the questions which are of crucial importance to any Middle East settlement? One: the question of withdrawal of Israeli forces. Two: the Palestinian issue, the question of self determination to the Palestinians and the question of giving them a homeland, and thirdly: the right of every state in the area, including of course the state of Israel, to exist in secure and recognised boundaries. These are three elements which have to be (indistinct) and resolved. And a solution for them has to be found."
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Background: The United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, has said that the next weeks will be decisive in determining whether the 1973 Middle East Peace conference could be reconvened. And he said that at the moment he personally had no formula for modifying Security Council Resolution 242, to take account of Palestinian aspirations. Resolution 242, adopted five months after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, deals with the Palestinians only in terms of a refugee problem. On Monday (19 September), answering questions at a news conference Mr Waldheim outlined where the peace negotiations stood at the moment.