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Israel Fails to Confirm Egyptian Report of Delay in Jarring Return

There was no confirmation here today of Egyptian press reports that Dr. Jarring had postponed the continuation of his mission to February so that the Big Powers could try to reach agreement among themselves on a solution for the Arab-Israeli dispute. Dr. Jarring, the Swedish Ambassador to the Soviet Union, was scheduled to return to the Middle East this month for another attempt at bringing Israel and the Arab states together to negotiate a settlement. The newspaper Al Ahram, regarded as an official mouthpiece of the Egyptian Government, had reported that Dr. Jarring would delay his return to the Middle East for at least another month. It said that when he returned, he would find a changed situation. The attitude of both sides has hardened, the paper said, and Big Power attempts to agree on a solution appeared to have little chance of success. The paper said Dr. Jarring was delaying his return to see what the outcome would be of international discussions of the Soviet plan for a settlement.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said today that press reports in various Arab capitals that Israel was massing troops for an attack on Jordan and Lebanon were “fabrications as malicious as they are unfounded.” Political circles said the rumors were part of a new Soviet-Arab propaganda line designed to increase tensions and thereby create a climate favorable to the Soviet peace proposals recently circulated to the Western powers. The Israel Government said the Soviet Middle East peace plan was Intended to promote the Russians’ own interests.

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