Eban Reports to Cabinet on Washington ‘leak’ on Dimona Visit

A news blackout was ordered yesterday on a report to the Cabinet by Foreign Minister Abba Eban. The report is believed to have concerned talks between Mr. Eban and United States Ambassador Walworth Barbour in which Mr. Eban expressed dissatisfaction over the leak to the American press of details of visits by engineers of the United States Atomic Energy Commission to the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona.

The Israel Embassy in Washington will express Israel’s “dissatisfaction and concern” over the news leak, it was indicated here today. Informed sources said that while the statement will not be a formal protest, it will be energetic, along the lines of the discussion between Mr. Eban and Ambassador Barbour.

The American envoy was reportedly told that Israel could not accept the idea that publicity be given to matters on which the two countries had previously agreed to secrecy. Mr. Eban, at whose invitation the meeting was held, also reminded the envoy that the report last week was not the first incident of United States “indiscretions. ” He cited the news reports on the sale of Patton tanks and Skyhawk jet bombers to Israel.

(In Washington, State Department officials said today there was no ground for suspicions that the report on the visit to the Dimona reactor was leaked by them to the press. Both the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the State Department declined to comment on the issue. State Department officials stressed that the American scientists were in Dimona “not on inspection matters but only on a visit. “)

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