Mrs. Meir: No Opportunities for Contacts with Arab Leaders Passed Up by Government

Premier Golda Meir told the Knesset yesterday that no opportunities for contacts with Arab leaders had been passed up by her government. But she said she could not give any details about the contacts, as publicity would undermine them. Mrs. Meir has in the past indicated that Israel was making such efforts. She said that all political contacts with foreign countries in connection with a Middle East peace settlement have been made with the knowledge and approval of the entire Cabinet. Mrs. Meir also told the Knesset that 30-35,000 Gaza Strip residents have left that area since the Six-Day War, most of them for Jordan. She also reported that consultations were continuing between Israel and the United States on the countries’ joint seawater-desalination project. Israel has to decide whether to agree to contribute half the $40 million cost, as the U.S. Congress has already done.

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