INTRODUCTION United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, on his six nation peace seeking tour of the Middle East, began his mission in the city which has become the centre of Arab efforts to get back to the conference table -- Cairo.
GV United Nations Secretary-General greeted at Cairo airport by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi
SV Waldheim and Fahmi across airport tarmac
SV INT Newsmen at meeting between Waldheim and Fahmi
GV Waldheim seated with Fahmi
GV EXT Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo, following day
SV INT Waldheim holding news conference and answering newsmen's questions (in English)
TRANSCRIPT SEQ 6: REPORTER: "Is it clear, Mr. Secretary-General, that the participation of the Palestinians means the participation of the PLO as such, or is there any effort to enlarge the word PLO to include other Palestinians? Is it clear-cut that they must be the PLO representatives?"
WALDHEIM: "This is my understanding."
REPORTER: "Secretary-General, would you describe the Egyptian position as flexible in General?"
WALDHEIM: "I would say that it is firm as far as substance is concerned, and as far as substance is concerned, and as far as principles are concerned. It is flexible in regard to the methods which we should adopt in order to have a chance to reconvene the conference."
REPORTER: "As Secretary-General, Sir, do you feel you are entitled by the mandate of the resolution, and by your position as Secretary-General, to use a kind of pressure on the parties concerned, to urge this process of peace?"
WALDHEIM: Persuasion, I would rather say. I think that it is of course not only my right but my duty as Secretary-General, under my own mandate. I am one of....as you know, the Secretary-General's position is one of the main organs of the United Nations, so it is my duty to help overcoming difficulties, to exercise my influence, to convince the parties to be flexible and to accept reasonable solutions in order to resume the negotiating process."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, on his six nation peace seeking tour of the Middle East, began his mission in the city which has become the centre of Arab efforts to get back to the conference table -- Cairo. He arrived in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday (2 February) for talks with President Anwar Sadat -- who is leading the Arab diplomatic offensive -- and Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi.
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Waldheim eventually had three rounds of talks with Mr. Fahmi during his two day visit. The Foreign Minister told him that the Geneva Conference should resume before the end of March -- otherwise Egypt would take the problem to the United Nations Security Council. Dr. Waldheim, however, said afterwards that timing was not crucial. The two men also discussed the major problem holding back the conference -- the representation of the Palestinians. The major issue to be discussed in Geneva is proposals to create an independent Palestine on the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But Israel is refusing to recognise an independent Palestinian delegation to the conference--claiming that it should only be part of a pan-Arab group. The Arab nations are insisting the Palestinians take part as an individual team.
At the Foreign Ministry is Cairo, Dr. Waldheim spoke to newsmen about other complexities in Palestinian representation at Geneva.