Israel Still Waiting Answer from Egypt in Interim Proposals

Official circles here said today that Israel is still waiting for “a substantive answer” from Egypt to its proposals for an interim agreement to reopen the Suez Canal. Israel has expected the Egyptian reply to be conveyed through Washington, the circles said. They noted that this week’s talks in Washington between Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin and Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco produced no Egyptian reply although Sisco had promised one “within a short while.” He was expected to get the Egyptian answer when he made a second visit to Cairo on May 8 at the end of his and Secretary of State William P. Rogers’ Middle East tour. The circles said that progress toward an interim settlement was being held up by the absence of Egyptian response parallel to Israel’s. “As far as we are concerned the door is still open,” they said.

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