Mccloskey Says Tekoah’s Return to Israel Not Viewed As Withdrawal from Peace Talks

State Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey indicated the State Department was not troubled by Mr. Tekoah’s return to Israel just as the peace negotiations were getting under way. “I don’t look at it as a withdrawal.” he said. “My understanding is that he will return and resume his role.” Asked whether Egypt or the Soviet Union has replied to Washington’s request for an explanation of their missile-construction activities during the standstill cease-fire period. Mr. McCloskey said he would “have to refrain from public bookkeeping on what is going on back and forth.” He would say only that there was “continuing contact” on the matter. Mr. McCloskey said the State Department was discussing with Israel the matter of the two Algerian officials detained by Israel the past 12 days. Asked whether the U.S. was urging their release, he replied: “I’m not sure that I would put it that sharply,” explaining that Washington preferred to consider the matter more in terms of civil aviation problems in general than in terms of Israeli-Algerian friction.

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