The United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldhaim, said in New York on Monday (17 September) he would continue contacts with Arab and Israeli leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly in hopes of developing ideas for progress following his recent five-nation Middle East tour.
GV U.N. building with flags (MUTE) (2 shots)
GV & SV INT Newsmen (MUTE) (4 shots)
SV Waldheim speaks (SOUND)
"I did not go to the Middle east with the intention of presenting specific proposals and I think I made it very clear right at the outset. The talks I had with the leaders of the five countries which I visited have given me a new insight into their positions and their problems. I hope that my visit was also useful to them, not least in showing that the United Nations is determined to continue its efforts to assist them in finding a just and lasting settlement, a task in which the United Nations has a clear mandate. During my visit to the Middle East, I had the chance to see for myself what has been done by the United Nations to prevent the escalation of conflict and to assist those who suffer in one way or another from its consequences."
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Background: The United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldhaim, said in New York on Monday (17 September) he would continue contacts with Arab and Israeli leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly in hopes of developing ideas for progress following his recent five-nation Middle East tour.
The General Assembly opens on Tuesday (18 September).
Following Thursday's (13 September) sharp aerial battle between Israel and Syria, the biggest since the 1967 war, United Nations members were fearful that the Middle East situation might again be nearing the boiling point.
Dr. Waldheim told reporters he had not formally proposed an Arab-Israeli peace conference during his Middle East tour. But he said the idea of the Middle East peace conference was mentioned during the course of the exchange of views as one of a number of procedural approaches to the question of the Middle East.
Dr. Waldheim made the clarification at his pre-Assembly press conference in reply to reports that he had offered proposals last month for formal peace talks to the two sides.