State Department Declines to Confirm or Deny Report of New U.S. Mideast Peace Plan
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State Department Declines to Confirm or Deny Report of New U.S. Mideast Peace Plan

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The State Department today would neither confirm nor deny a report in the semi-official Cairo newspaper Al Ahram that the United States had proposed a new Middle East peace formula to Egypt. According to Al Ahram, the formula was to be presented when the Four Powers resume their talks in New York later this month. It gave no details of the reputed plan.

State Department spokesman Robert McCloskey would say only that the United States and Soviet Russia were seeking agreement on a general approach to be presented to the Big Four who were expected to endorse it and forward it to United Nations peace envoy Gunnar V. Jarring to strengthen his renewed efforts to reach an Israeli-Arab settlement.

Al Ahram reported that Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco presented the American plan to Dr. Ashraf Ghorbal, head of the Egyptian section of the Indian diplomatic mission in Washington last Friday. There has been no Egyptian Embassy here since Cairo severed diplomatic relations with the U.S. during the June, 1967 Six-Day War, and India has been handling its affairs. (Speaking on television in Israel yesterday, Foreign Minister Abba Eban said he did not know of any such plan.)

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