WASHINGTON (Mar. 11)
Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban arrived here today from London for talks with President Richard M. Nixon, Secretary of State William P. Rogers and other government leaders to ascertain emerging United States policy on the Mideast. He stated on arrival, in response to newsmen’s questions about the latest eruption along the Suez Canal, that “our policy is to maintain the cease-fire and to restore it when broken.” Mr. Eban cited United Nations reports blaming Egypt for the latest outbreak of violence. He expressed belief that incidents such as the Suez exchange of fire could be restricted and isolated. Mr. Eban said that neither Israel nor Egypt wanted a general war.
During his visit here, Mr. Eban said, he will exchange views on a whole range of issues and stress that peace and security remain uppermost in Israel’s mind. Commenting on the issue of an “imposed peace,” Mr. Eban said he found in President Nixon’s recent statements an indication that Mr. Nixon himself did not accept the imposition of peace by the major powers. Mr. Eban told airport newsmen that if peace were “imposed,” that would mean the Arab-Israel problem was not settled. He disclosed that Prime Minister Harold Wilson of Britain, whom he met yesterday, said to him that any agreement must have the mutual consent of the parties directly concerned.
He said he came to Washington to ask for understanding of Israel’s position.” Asked if there had been any indication of a change in U.S. policy, he replied that the object of his visit was to ascertain the basic ideas of the Nixon Administration. Mr. Eban will meet Secretary of State William P. Rogers tomorrow and President Nixon on Thursday. He will speak at the National Press Club on Friday and will appear on the “Meet the Press” television program on Sunday. He will address United Jewish Appeal meetings in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. He will also confer with UN Secretary-General U Thant on Saturday. While in Washington he will confer with Congressional leaders including Sen. J. W. Fulbright, Arkansas Democrat, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
(The U.S. was not seeking the opening of Four Power talks on the Mideast in the next fortnight, State Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey said today. Newsmen questioned him about reports from London and elsewhere that current U.S., Soviet, French and British bilateral UN talks had progressed to the point where a full conference would open within two weeks. Mr. McCloskey said Washington was not seeking at this time a specific, early date. A London report said the U.S. was understood to be clearing up major points with the USSR.)
(The Zionist Organization of America’s national executive committee said here today in a resolution that “American statesmanship will not be entrapped by Soviet diplomatic maneuvers aimed at compelling Israel’s withdrawal from the cease-fire lines only to strengthen the Soviet’s Arab clients and enhance the Kremlin’s design for complete dominance of the Mideast.”)