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Eban Says Removal of Nasser Would Improve Chances for Mideast Settlement

Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel hinted in an interview published in the Guardian today that the removal of President Abdel Gamal Nasser of Egypt might improve chances of a Middle East settlement. He also admitted that Israel was already approaching the bargaining table with the Arabs by way of indirect negotiations, though he insisted that binding contractual agreements can be made only when both parties meet face-to-face. But, Mr. Eban told The Guardian reporter. Peter Jenkins, “that doesn’t mean you can do nothing ahead of time to clarify and define principles.” He conceded that indirect negotiations “for what they are worth are taking place already.” Asked if Israel still insisted on a formal peace treaty with the Arabs, the Foreign Minister replied, “that is the normal way of concluding a state of war–speeches at the United Nations have no juridical value whatsoever.”