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Cairo and Jerusalem in Touch on Mideast Views Through Informal Channels

Cairo and Jerusalem have been keeping one another informed of their respective views and attitudes on the Middle East conflict through various international personages travelling between the two capitals on a very Informal, unofficial basis, it was learned from well informed sources here today. The information confirmed a statement by Foreign Minister Abba Eban in the Knesset two weeks ago that unofficial contacts have been maintained between Israel and some of the Arab governments since the June, 1967 Six-Day War. According to the sources certain personages of international status have met from time to time over the past 20 months with Premier Golda Meir either before going to Cairo or after having come from there. Both Mrs. Meir and President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt were aware that these personages were going to Cairo or to Jerusalem and each used them as a courier to the other without actually saying so. Such contacts have been made by Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the United Nations special peace envoy to the Mideast and, most recently, by Dr. Joseph Luns, the Netherlands Foreign Minister who has sent Mr. Eban a full report of his conversations with the Egyptian leader. But knowledge of any direct high level contact between Israelis and Arabs has been denied here. Mr. Eban told the Knesset that none of these contacts showed any signs of the slightest softening of the Arab attitude. Sources here said today that no government anywhere in the world in contact with Israeli officials has raised the matter of Dr. Nahum Goldmann’s aborted plan to go to Cairo.

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