Rusk Expected to Join Johnson-eshkol Talks; Defense Officials Reported Also Invited

Secretary of State Dean Rusk is expected to participate in the talks between President Johnson and Israel Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to be held at the LBJ Ranch in Texas next Sunday and Monday, Official sources indicated here today. Another participant will be Lucius D. Battle, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Officials of the Defense Department are also reported to have been invited.

The Washington Post stated today that Mr. Eshkol is coming here in hopes of obtaining an American commitment to sell new arms to Israel, especially Phantom jets, and that Administration sources indicate Mr. Eshkol is not likely to go home empty-handed. According to the Post, however, these Administration officials say that President Johnson has as yet made no firm decision. In his talks with Prime Minister Eshkol he must take into consideration the coming visit to Cairo of Soviet Communist Party boss Leonid Brezhnev, the Arab summit conference at Rabat this month, and the mission of the United Nations’ special envoy to the Middle East, Ambassador Gunnar Jarring. “Thus,” the Post said. “he is unlikely to go all the way with Eshkol.”

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