World: Discreet Messenger to the Middle East

GUNNAR JARRING is a model of the classic diplomat: discreet, discerning and infinitely patient. His reticence with the press is legendary. Once when he answered a newsman's question about the Middle East with a tight-lipped "No comment," U.N. Under Secretary-General Ralph Bunche swore that Jarring had been misquoted. "Gunnar would never say that much," declared Bunche.

As U Thant's special representative to the Middle East for more than 2½ years, Jarring, who speaks nearly a dozen languages, including Arabic, Russian and French, has conducted the U.N.'s intermittent search for peace in the Middle East. Because Arab leaders adamantly refuse—for the time being,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!