TEL AVIV (Dec. 11)
William W. Scranton, President-elect Richard M. Nixon’s special envoy to the Middle East, reportedly asked Israeli leaders not to strike targets in Jordan and to refrain as much as possible from hostile acts against Jordan. This was learned from sources close to Mr. Scranton who said that he believed military action only increases tensions and hurt chances for peace.
The former Pennsylvania Governor who visited four Arab countries, Iran and Israel on his fact finding mission for Mr. Nixon, left Lydda Airport today for the United States. At an airport press conference he repeated earlier statements that he was more encouraged about Middle East peace prospects than when he started his tour. He said that he had “no personal opinions” but could understand both the Israeli and the Arab positions. “I found in Israel elements necessary for peace talks,” he told reporters. “I had useful talks here and talks with the Arab leaders have encouraged me. I understand Israel’s position regarding direct negotiations which can bring peace to the Middle East. I also understand the Arab difficulty in stomaching Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem.” Mr. Scranton emphasized that the purpose of his Middle East Junket was to gather facts and that policy decision on the Middle East would be made by Mr. Nixon.
Mr. Scranton met Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in the latter’s home Tuesday. Reporters were barred from the meeting which was attended by Gen. Chaim Bar-Lev, Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces; Gen. Tzvi Tzur, Deputy Defense Minister; Gen. Abaron Yariv, chief of intelligence, and representatives of the Foreign Ministry. Gen. Dayan gave Mr. Scranton an ancient glass object as a gift for Mrs. Nixon. There was speculation that Mr. Scranton may meet with Gen. Dayan again when the general visits the United States this weekend.