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Rogers, Dobrynin Confer; Gravity of Mideast Situation, Political Solution Discussed

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Anatoly F. Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, conferred for 40 minutes today with Secretary of State William P. Rogers. Three times–in an upper-level lobby, in the descending elevator and in the lower lobby–Mr. Dobbrynin told newsmen only that the meeting was part of “a series of discussions on the Middle East.” He added that “We agreed to continue these discussions,” and indicated that another one was scheduled for later this week. Asked whether he had discussed the sale of planes to Israel, Mr. Dobrynin replied with a grin: “Who, us give planes to Israel?” Asked if he and Mr. Rogers had talked about the Soviet intervention in the Middle East. Mr. Dobrynin, after holding a mock briefing with an aide, responded: “We didn’t hear it discussed.”

At a post-discussion press conference, however. State Department spokesman Robert McCloskey said that the “main conversation” was about “all aspects of the current situation in the Middle East.” He said Mr. Rogers had emphasized “the seriousness with which we regard that situation,” especially in regard to the “Soviet military involvement.” Mr. McCloskey said Mr. Dobrynin agreed with Mr. Rogers to “renewed efforts toward achieving a political solution” in the Mideast. Mr. McCloskey termed the meeting “a renewal of the bilateral,” a description he had previously declined to apply to the talks here between Ambassador Dobrynin and Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Mr. McCloskey added that the subject of planes for Israel was not discussed. He said the two discussants had been Joined by Adolph Dubs, State Department director of Soviet affairs.

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