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NATION : Baker's Hopes Fade for Talks Between Israelis, Palestinians

January 09, 1990|From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State James A. Baker III has told a visiting foreign minister he is losing hope of achieving a breakthrough that would lead to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and said he may soon drop his initiative, diplomatic sources said today.

The sources said Baker sounded very pessimistic on the Middle East in a private meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik at the State Department Monday. "It was very surprising and worrying," said one source present at the meeting.

"Bondevik urged Baker to persevere and said his initiative represents the only hope of progress but Baker said that with so many other things happening in the world, he might soon decide to devote all his time to areas where there was some hope of getting things done," the source said.

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