United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, who is touring Middle East countries in an attempt to revive the Geneva peace talks, met Jordanian leaders on Wednesday (9 February).
United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, who is touring Middle East countries in an attempt to revive the Geneva peace talks, met Jordanian leaders on Wednesday (9 February). The previous day Mr. Waldheim had final talks with Lebanese leaders.
SYNOPSIS: In Mr. Waldheim's final day in Beirut, the talks were held under the eye of Arab peacekeeping force troops at the Mansour Palace, the temporary headquarters of the Lebanese parliament. The speaker of parliament Mr. Kamal Al-Asaad met Mr. Waldheim.
Mr. Waldheim said afterwards that his impression from speaking to the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon was that they were all seriously interested in resuming peace negotiations as soon as possible. However, Mr. Waldheim said he was taking Israeli protests about the presence of Syrian peace-keeping forces in southern Lebanon very seriously. The Syrians have said that their troops are close to the Israeli border because the Lebanese authorities have asked them to go there to complete the task of disarming Moslem and Christian forces from the country's civil war which ended late last year.
Before leaving Beirut airport for Jordan on Tuesday, Mr. Waldheim told newsmen what his stay in Lebanon had achieved.
The morning after his arrival in Jordan, Mr. Waldheim called on Crown Prince Hassan, the heir to the Jordanian throne. The Jordanians believe that a Middle East peace settlement should be based on full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territory. They have also insisted on the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) participation in any peace conference.
Israel's refusal to attend any peace conference involving the Palestine Liberation Organisation-whom they regard as terrorists - was the reason peace negotiations failed last time. Mr. Waldheim, who is in favour of the PLO's inclusion, is expected to receive a cool reception when he arrives in Israel on Thursday.