With world leaders gathering here to mark the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations a great deal of diplomatic activity is going on and things seem particularly active on the Middle East front.
Mrs Thatcher's first encounter here was a forty-minute meeting with the UN's Secretary General, and afterwards she told reporters that the Middle East had been one of the subjects discussed. She'd explained Britain's position and she believed that King Hussein of Jordan must have a framework of international support in negotiations between Israel on one side and the Jordanians and Palestinians on the other.
Her comments came a couple of days after the Israeli Prime Minister had offered to go to Jordan by the end of this year for direct talks with King Hussein, a move welcomed by the Reagan administration as statesmanlike. Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the United States are agreed on the urgency of moving forward on the peace process and the Israeli leader is now seemingly willing to take into account King's Hussein 's insistence that negotiations between Israel and Jordan could only occur under some sort of international umbrella or conference. That's not the word used by Mrs Thatcher. She prefers to talk of an international framework.