WASHINGTON (Mar. 12)
Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said today that the “Four Powers” who should be concerned with agreements in the Middle East were Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. He said, “Nothing is more absurd that the concept of an imposed settlement.” Following a luncheon attended by 16 Senators tendered by Stuart Symington (D., Mo.), Mr. Eban said that he discussed “confidential details” of prospects for peace and security with the legislators but would not divulge further details.
The Foreign Minister said the burden of agreement and initiative should rest on the contending parties themselves. He pointed out that the Four Powers were not in agreement among themselves and that the U.S. and USSR views differed on the imposed settlement issue. It would take a great deal of diplomatic activity to bring about an agreement of the U.S. and USSR on Middle East policy, and that amount of effort should more usefully be devoted to helping bring about agreement among the nations of the area,” he said. Asked about U.S. adoption of an “even-handed policy,” Mr. Eban said he would describe U.S. policy for the last 20 months as “even-handed.”
President Nixon has deferred his meeting with Mr. Eban from Thursday to Friday until after Mr. Eban addresses a National Press Club luncheon. Foreign statesmen customarily address the press club where they respond to journalists’ questions about White House discussions after meeting with the President.