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Middle East Seen As Topic in Upcoming Talks with High-ranking U.S. Officials

Israel Government officials prepared for meetings with four high ranking American statesmen who were due here today for a series of talks that were regarded as crucial to the ongoing Middle East crisis.

Ambassador George Ball, newly appointed United States chief representative to the United Nations, was expected, accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco and Alfred Atherton, chief of the Arab-Israel desk in the State Department. Mr. Sisco heads the international organization’s division of the State Department which includes the UN. They were to be met by U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour and by Gideon Rafael, director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry. Expected to land several hours earlier was McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation and a former White House advisor on international affairs, who was coming as a guest of the Government. He is chairman of President Johnson’s advisory committee on the Middle East.

Mr. Ball, Mr. Sisco and Mr. Atherton were scheduled to have several talks tomorrow and Tuesday with Foreign Minister Abba Eban and other Foreign Ministry officials. They were to be received tomorrow by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. They were also scheduled to confer with Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon and with Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan, and were scheduled to leave for Amman, Jordan, Tuesday via the Allenby Bridge. Mr. Bundy’s visit officially was in connection with Ford Foundation matters but it was almost certain that he was to discuss the Middle East situation in meetings with Mr. Eshkol, Mr. Eban, Gen. Dayan and Maj. Gen. Chaim Bar-Lev, Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces. Mr. Bundy, who has already visited Egypt and Lebanon, was expected to go to Jordan following talks here.

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