Firm on principles, moderate in tone, devoid of new ideas. US Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie's address to the UN General Assembly, according to many high-ranking delegates here, did not break any new ground or offer any original solutions. Instead it restates familiar US positions on major issues:
* Withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and a political settlement of this problem.
* An end of Vietnam's occupation of Cambodia and the convening of an international conference to sucure a peaceful of this problem.
* The pursuit of peace in the Middle East based on UN resolutions 242 and 338 . A solution to the Palestinian problem should take all its aspects into accounts, including those concerning Israel security.
* Implementation of the UN plan for independence of Namibia (South-West Africa). Mr. Muskie called on Iranian authorities to allow the safe return of hostages to their families. "We are prepared to deal on a basis of mutual respect and equality with all outstanding issues and misunderstandings between Iran and the US, and to reach understandings on the principles which will govern our relationship."
Last but not least, the Secretary of State reaffirmed US commitment to "meaningful and equal limitations on theater forces in the framework of SALT III ," as well as to a verifiable and comprehensive test ban treaty.
Mr. Muskie's speech was considered here to be dull and unimaginative.But it indicated the US want not spoiling for a fight with the USSR or the third world and this did not go unnoticed. One third-world ambassador said, "Not too much could be expected on the diplomatic level from an administration on the eve of an election."