WASHINGTON (Oct. 25)
Israeli sources disclosed today that President Johnson had reiterated his adherence to the five points on the Middle East situation which he first enunciated on June 19 and otherwise gave clear indication of friendship toward Israel in last night’s meeting with Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban of Israel, The meeting lasted for more than one hour.
The White House declined to comment today on the Johnson-Eban meeting. White House spokesman George Christian said the American position was clearly enunciated by Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg in the U.S. resolution offered in the United Nations.
The discussion was described as entirely satisfactory from the Israeli point of view by these sources. The points reasserted covered the main objectives of present Israeli policy including the demand for face-to-face direct peace talks, translation of the cease-fire lines through negotiation and readjustments into permanent boundaries, and no return to the situation that existed prior to June 5, these sources asserted. They stressed that there was no evidence of deviation by the President on any of the five points.
Israelis here insisted that the sinking of the Elath last Saturday and the subsequent developments in the Suez Canal area figured only in a peripheral way in Mr. Eban’s discussions here — especially in the talks with State Department officials.
Participating in the meeting with the President and Mr. Eban were presidential aide Walt W. Rostow, White House spokesman George Christian, Assistant Secretary of State Lucius Battle, Ambassador Avraham Harman of Israel, and Ephraim Evron, Minister of the Israeli Embassy.
Earlier talks which Mr. Eban had, including a long meeting with Secretary of State Dean Rusk, involved a previously agreed agenda and only touched lightly on the Elath affair, Israelis declared. They said the original plan was followed with Mr. Rusk and a general discussion pursued on Arab-Israel relations, peace, the United Nations and such matters as avoiding of arms imbalance in light of the Soviet resupply of the Arabs.
Mr. Eban reportedly described Israel’s general views on a peace settlement and the refugees question. Israeli sources said Jerusalem was not mentioned as an issue.
It was disclosed here that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had notified Israel about a week ago that jets and other equipment sought by Israel would be released from embargo. Official announcement was made of the release yesterday. Israeli sources denied that Secretary Rusk had urged Mr. Eban to influence Israel to show restraint in the wake of the Elath sinking.