JERUSALEM (Oct. 7)
No changes in Soviet Middle East policy or Moscow’s attitude toward Israel were seen here today in the wake of conferences this weekend between leaders of Israel’s Mapai and left-wing Mapam Parties and Soviet Ambassador Alexander Abramov. The conversations here were widely interpreted as a continuation of last week’s meeting in New York between Foreign Ministers Golda Meir and Andrei Gromyko no tangible results of which have become apparent either.
Ambassador Abramov conferred with Finance Minister Levi Eshkol and Mordecai Namir secretary general of the Mapai Party, at an Embassy function in Ramath Gan. Dr. Walter Eytan, director of the Foreign Ministry, accompanied the Mapai leaders. The following day, Mapam leaders Meir Yaari and Jacob Peled met with the Soviet Ambassador for what Mapam circles described as a discussion of a “wide range of current problems.”
Although Mr. Eshkol’s meeting with the Ambassador is described in official circles as a routine social visit,” it has aroused considerable speculation and interest here. Some observers see the possibility that the talks touched upon the Soviet Union’s refusal to sell Israel oil ever since the Sinai campaign. The question has been placed under formal arbitration by Israel, which charges a unilateral violation of the oil-for-citrus trade pact.