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Wanted: a man of Henry Kissinger's stature . . . but not Henry himself.

Middle East experts say Secretary of State George Shultz must appoint someone of considerable reputation to negotiate with the Israelis and others over the Palestinian question - if he is to make his commitment to resolving that issue credible.

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This was not possible for former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who wanted to keep high level negotiatons to himself. Officials say that Shultz has the self-confidence to delegate authority to people Haig would have regarded as rivals. Current negotiator for Palestinian autonomy talks is Richard Fairbanks, a State Department official with relatively limited Middle East experience.

Despite earlier rumors, it seems unlikely that Kissinger will get the job. White House officials have never completely overcome their suspicions of Kissinger, an architect of US-Soviet detente.

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