WASHINGTON (Oct. 15)
State Department officials, pleading a heavy schedule for Secretary of State Dean Rusk, said today that there might be a delay in starting the negotiations which President Johnson ordered last week for the sale of supersonic jet aircraft to Israel. They said that Mr. Rusk would try to fit Israel Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin into his schedule later this week but that it may be some time next week before the initial meeting can be held. Mr. Rusk and Gen. Rabin are to meet to make arrangements for the negotiations. State Department officials noted that the White House placed no time limit on the negotiations and that there was no “sense of urgency” in the State Department on the discussions. Some sources said the talks might reach “a more developed stage” by the middle of November. It was pointed out that Mr. Rusk’s visitors this week include the Foreign Ministers of Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya and perhaps ministers from other countries. They said Mr. Rusk had “important matters” to discuss with all of them. The Phantom issue is regarded as a question with various ramifications and “many factors” that will require gradual consideration and discussion at various levels, officials said.