The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud al Faisal, has said the prospects for a resumption of the Geneva Middle East peace talks this year are 'very dim'.
SV EXTERIOR Elysee Palace, Paris, France.
SV PAN Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal coming out of Palace and talking to reporters (in English)
SAME SHOT Faisal speaking to reporters (in Arabic)
SAME SHOT Faisal speaking to reporter (in English), PAN TO Faisal leaving.
REPORTER: 'Your Highness, could you tell us what are the prospects of the resumption of the Geneva Conference?'
FAISAL: 'Well, as you know, after the discussions that were held in the United States, between the various parties, there were hopes expressed that the Geneva Conference would be held before the end of this year. The prospects are good or bad only in so far as what the parties are going to achieve in Geneva. From the announcement of the Israeli Government and the personnel there the indications are that they really are not interested to go there and achieve peace, therefore the prospects are, to my mind, very dim, if that is the case.'
REPORTER: 'How do you expect the Arab delegation to be (indistinct) to Geneva?'
FAISAL: 'Well, I think this is for those concerned to discuss....'
The Prince also talked to reporters about the problems in the Horn of Africa, where the Ogaden desert war between Somali nationalists and Ethiopia has led to fears of a wider conflict. Saudi Arabia, said the Prince was remaining neutral.
REPORTER: 'What's your position concerning the problem in the Horn of Africa? Did you discuss the matter with President Giscard d'Estaing?'
FAISAL: 'Not specifically. We haven't discussed that. But of course from my Government's position is we hope the problem that exists there.....we're interested in the area; we're neighbours; we have very good, sound relations with all the countries concerned there....we hope that these problems can be settled peacefully.'
REPORTER: 'Thank you very much.'
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Background: The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud al Faisal, has said the prospects for a resumption of the Geneva Middle East peace talks this year are 'very dim'. The Prince, on his way back home from the United Nations, was speaking to reporters in Paris after an hour's discussion on the Geneva prospects with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
SYNOPSIS: The problem, he said on leaving the Elysee Palace, was the Israeli Government.