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WORLD IN BRIEF : FRANCE : U.N. Chief Hopeful on Hostage Solution

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar said “we are closer than ever to a solution” in the hostage crisis but that he would quit mediating if any side tried to raise the stakes in the last stages of negotiations. In an interview in the French daily Le Figaro, Perez de Cuellar said: “I will not allow stakes to be raised. If this happens, I will make it public and leave the negotiating table.” The U.N. chief, who held three days of meetings in Geneva, said Israel’s stand in the talks was not rigid and that he hopes to bridge the gap with hostage captors in the near future.


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