Rogers Says Mrs. Meir’s View on Suez Canal Reopening Deserves Consideration

Secretary of State William P, Rogers said today that Israeli Premier Golda Meir’s willingness, expressed yesterday, to consider reopening the Suez Canal but not at the cost of Israeli withdrawal from the Canal prior to a peace pact was “a proposal which deserves consideration.” Restating to newsmen that decisions on such matters “rest with the parties,” Rogers nevertheless added that any development that helps ease the tension in the Middle East was welcome. The State Department said last week that the U.S. would soon submit proposals for “preliminary supplemental guarantees” to the Big Four ambassadors in New York. The specific nature of those proposals has not been disclosed, and in fact may not be fully worked out yet, but are understood to center on language designed to supplement the United Nations mandate of mediator Gunnar V. Jarring. The proposal may not be formally presented at the next Big Four meeting, this Friday, but a U. S. spokesman noted today that the subject of border guarantees has now “moved toward the front burner.”

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