WASHINGTON (Jul. 7)
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joseph Sisco, will fly to Moscow later this week for a round of high level talks with Soviet officials on the Middle East conflict, the State Department announced today. According to Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey, the United States regards the Moscow talks as a “brief round” in the continuing U.S.-Soviet bilateral talks on the Middle East and will insist that further talks be held in Washington.
Mr. Sisco and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin have been conducting Middle East talks here for the past few months. They had been going on concurrently with the Four Power–U.S., Soviet, Britain and France–Mideast discussions in New York under United Nations auspices. Those talks recessed recently and no date has been set for their resumption.
Mr. McCloskey said that Mr. Sisco would stop at London and Paris en route to Moscow to coordinate his talks with the Four Power approach. His flight to the Soviet capital was anticipated here two weeks ago when it was learned that Soviet leaders had been pressing for at least a temporary shift of the site of the bilateral discussions to the Soviet capital. Israel is opposed to all Big Power intervention in the Middle East which, it claims, lessens the chances for direct Arab-Israel peace talks. There was no comment from Israeli sources here on Mr. Sisco’s trip to Moscow.