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State Dept. Says Sisco Took Counter-proposals to Moscow Mideast Talks

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United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joseph J. Sisco brought U.S. counter-proposals for a Mideast settlement to Moscow this week, State Department officials disclosed today. The counter-proposals were said to be a reply to the terms set forth in Soviet proposals delivered in Washington June 17 which emphasized Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.

The officials said that Mr. Sisco’s three days of talks with Soviet officials yielded no “break-through” but indicated “sufficient progress” to warrant a continuation of the talks when Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin returns to Washington. The bi-lateral U.S.-Soviet talks on the Middle East have been going on for several months, mainly between Mr. Sisco and Mr. Dobrynin. Mr. Sisco’s visit to Moscow was described by the State Department as a “brief round” in those discussions.

American officials said that “points of disagreement” remained between the U.S. and Soviet positions and that the latter have given no evidence yet of meaningful concessions. They said Israel was being kept informed of the progress of the talks. The absence of an Israeli diplomatic mission in Moscow was dismissed by officials who pointed out that Egypt is not formally or fully represented in Washington because of the absence of diplomatic relations with Cairo.

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