State Department Doubts U.S. Has Abandoned Efforts at Missiles Rollback

State Department officials would not confirm today an assertion by Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban that the U.S. has abandoned its efforts to get Egypt to roll back the Soviet missiles it installed in the Suez cease-fire zone. In a television interview taped in the U.S. and broadcast in Israel last night, Mr. Eban said he had learned from Secretary of State William P. Rogers the “sad fact” that the American government has concluded that it was not feasible to get complete rectification of the cease-fire violations in the Suez Canal zone. He added, however, that the U.S. and Israel were in consultation about future moves. Asked by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to comment on Mr. Eban’s report, State Department officials said they would not assume that this was what Mr. Rogers told Mr. Eban when they conferred here last week. The Secretary of State met separately on the same day with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Riad. The officials said they could not comment on those meetings beyond the fact that Mr. Rogers was “encouraged” by them. Mr. Eban is expected to confer with State Department officials, possibly with Mr. Rogers, before he returns to Israel later this week.

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