MIDDLE EAST: NUTCRACKER SUITE

En route with Vance on a mission almost impossible

The mission confronting Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was to learn as he put it, "how to crack the hard nuts that have to be cracked So last week Vance flew in and it of the familiar way stations of Middle Eastern diplomacy—Alexandria Beirut, Damascus ... En route he heard a revised and promising version of a formula for indirect negotiations between Israel and the Arabs—but in almost no time at all the region's quarreling states proved that this solution would not be acceptable....

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