WASHINGTON (Dec. 3)
Washington is preparing today for the arrival next week of two main antagonists in the Middle East conflict–King Hussein of Jordan and Gen. Moshe Dayan, Defense Minister of Israel. King Hussein will meet with President Nixon and other top administration officials during his visit here Dec. 8-10. Gen. Dayan will arrive on the 11th. He is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird and Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s chief adviser on national security matters. No meeting with the President has been announced but that possibility is not excluded. State Department spokesman John King has refused to comment on Mr. Dayan’s visit. The talks in Washington are expected to have a direct bearing on the future of the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Arab states under the auspices of United Nations envoy Gunnar V. Jarring. The State Department sought to keep the way clear for resumption of the Jarring talks when it urged Israel and Egypt yesterday to act “prudently and with restraint” in order to preserve their cease-fire.
The State Department’s cautionary message was prompted by an incident in the Gulf of Suez early last Saturday when an Israeli Navy patrol boat sank an Egyptian reconnaissance boat that failed to respond when challenged in Israel-held waters. The U.S. did not apportion blame but noted that the incident was “a cogent reminder of the delicacy of the situation.” While Gen. Dayan is in Washington, he is expected to discuss Israel’s arms requests. King Hussein is expected to urge the U.S. to stand firm against pressures from Israel to shelve Secretary Rogers’ proposals that Israel withdraw to its pre-June 1967 borders, with only minor adjustments. Meanwhile, State Department sources expressed further annoyance today at Egypt’s Nov. 29 protest over alleged American photographic surveillance over the Suez Canal truce zone. The charge was refuted Nov. 30 by sources who indicated the flights had been curtailed three weeks earlier, and they reiterated today that Egypt has agreed to reconnaissance as part of the standstill cease-fire agreement. The sources added that there are no American satellites active over the canal zone.