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Rogers to Address Knesset Security, Foreign Affairs Committee

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Secretary of State William P. Rogers, at his own request, will address the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security committee here Friday and will answer questions from members, it was announced today. Rogers is expected to arrive in Israel at noon Thursday from Cairo. The Secretary of State requested the meeting through the usual Foreign Ministry channels which brought the matter to the committee’s attention. The meeting will be a working session in the Knesset chambers. Rogers will be accompanied by members of his party which include Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joseph J. Sisco. On the Israeli side, only committee members will attend. But Uri Aveneri of the opposition Haolam Hazeh faction demanded in the knesset today that representatives of factions other than those on the committee be invited. Under agreement between the majority parties, membership on the foreign affairs committee is restricted to the Labor Alignment and the National Religious Party, coalition partners, and Gahal, the largest of the opposition factions. Some observers said that Secretary Rogers’ desire to address key Israeli legislators in private paralleled Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s now famous breakfast meeting with 40 U.S. Senators when he was last in Washington. At that meeting, Eban explained Israel’s position in the Middle East conflict, apparently with some success. It was doubted here however that Rogers would try to or could convert Knesset members to his views as embodied in the Rogers Plan.

Rogers’ first full fledged working session with Premier Golda Meir and senior Cabinet ministers will be held on Thursday afternoon, shortly after his arrival. He is scheduled to make a brief air tour of Galilee and the Golan Heights on Friday following a television interview. He will hold “summing up” talks with Mrs. Meir, probably attended by Eban, Deputy Premier Yigal Allon and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in Tel Aviv. Rogers may also have a private meeting with Mrs. Meir before he leaves on Saturday for Rome. Observers here noted that Rogers visit has elicited almost no threats, fulminations or demonstrations by Palestinian terrorists of the type that greeted Sisco during his Mideast trip last year. The only incident reported so far was a march by 10,000 fedayeen several miles from the Beirut airport when Rogers landed there yesterday. Lebanese troops armed with machine guns scaled off the roads to the airport and were given orders to shoot and kill any intruders. The protestors carried effigies of Rogers and King Hussein of Jordan whom they denounced as an oppressor of the Palestinian people. Some observers noted that the relatively muted demonstration and the absence of other demonstrations indicated that the terrorists were at their ebb tide in morale and that the Arab governments had taken the necessary steps to quash any untoward anti-American demonstrations in order to conduct talks with Rogers in a calm atmosphere.

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