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U.S. Official Mum on Whether Sadat Favors Truce Extension; Riad Favors Continuation

A State Department official said he did not want to “go into names” when he was asked at a news briefing today whether acting President Anwar Sadat was one of the Egyptian leaders who reportedly expressed interest in continuing the Suez Canal cease-fire beyond its Nov. 6 expiration date. Department spokesman John King had told newsmen yesterday that expressions of interest in prolonging the cease-fire had been conveyed to Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Elliot Richardson who was in Cairo last week heading an American delegation representing President Nixon at the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s funeral. A report this afternoon from Cairo quoted Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad as saying that Egypt was prepared to go along with the ceasefire. Mr. Riad also claimed that all missiles in the truce zone were there before the cease-fire went into effect Aug. 7 and therefore there could be no rectification of the missile situation. Questioned on other matters, Mr. King said he did not know at this point whether Secretary of State William P.Rogers would meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban here over the week-end. He noted that Mr. Rogers would go to the United Nations at the end of the week. Mr. Eban is to deliver a speech on Sunday in Washington at an Israel Bond dinner. Asked about the state of U.S.-Soviet cultural relations in light of the disruption of some performances of the Moiseyev Ballet by Jewish groups protesting the treatment of Jews in the USSR, Mr. King replied. “We have regretted the incidents.” He added, “obviously we cannot condone violence against foreign diplomats or establishments and we are doing what we can to avoid it.”

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