Cabinet Approves Resolution to Return to Talks; Knesset Approval Seems Certain

The Cabinet cleared the way for an early resumption of the Jarring peace talks today when it approved a resolution recommended by Premier Golda Meir which stated that “under the present political and military conditions it is possible and justified to discontinue the suspension of Israel’s participation in the talks under the auspices of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring.” The resolution authorized Foreign Minister Abba Eban to take “the necessary steps arising from the Cabinet’s decision.” The decision was unanimous, although two ministers were absent from today’s session. Labor Minister Joseph Almogi had asked earlier that his vote be registered as affirmative and Minister of Tourism, Moshe Kol, now visiting the United States, is known to favor rejoining the Jarring talks.

The motion will go before the Knesset tomorrow where its approval seems virtually assured. Premier Meir is expected to make it clear in her address to the Chamber tomorrow that Israel does not accept the territorial proposals advanced a year ago by U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Mrs. Meir has not yet ironed out her difficulties with one of her coalition partners, the National Religious Party. The NRP is split over the issue of the Jarring talks. Its executive committee said last night that NRP Knesset members would be free to vote their conscience on the return motion unless the Prime Minister made it a vote of confidence in the government, in which case party discipline would have to prevail. But Mrs. Meir told the NRP that she would regard negative votes by any of its Knesset members as a breach of joint coalition responsibility and reportedly implied that she was prepared to break up her party’s coalition with the NRP.

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