Soviet Union Reported Seeking Pacts with Other Arab Nations

Well informed sources here said today that the Soviet Union is trying to conclude treaties with Iraq. Syria and other Arab countries similar to the 15-year treaty of friendship and cooperation it signed with the Egyptian government in Cairo on May 27. The Israeli govern- ment reportedly is waiting for further information on the new Moscow-Cairo pact and on the talks between President Anwar Sadat and President Nikolai Podgorny that preceded it. Israel was reportedly advised by the United States not to take hasty action or to draw premature conclusions about the treaty at the present stage. Israel apparently agrees with this approach and has indicated that it still favors the principle of a partial interim settlement with Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal. Sources here said Israel subscribes to the American view that diplomatic activities connected with a partial settlement militate against an immediate resumption of warfare. In spite of Egypt’s burdening attitude reflected in Sadat’s recent speeches, Israel does not consider an outbreak of fighting likely within the next few weeks at least and believes that every attempt to advance the cause of a partial settlement should be encouraged.

Premier Golda Meir meanwhile has postponed her previously delayed political report to the Knesset from tomorrow to Wednesday. The session has been advanced from noon to 9:30 a.m. (local time) so that the house has an opportunity to debate the report and vote on it the same day. The government is apparently anxious to get a speedy endorsement of its policies. The debate is expected to be a bitter one with attacks on government policy coming from the right-wing Gahal opposition and the pro-Moscow Rakach Communist faction. Mrs. Meir’s political report was originally to have concentrated on the results of U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers’ visit to Israel May 6-7 and his Middle East tour. While the Premier will cover that subject on Wednesday, she is expected to devote much of her report to subsequent developments, particularly the Soviet-Egyptian pact. Most informed circles here believe the treaty contains secret clauses, the nature of which can only be speculated on, and, therefore, Mrs. Meir cannot present an exhaustive analysis of the pact and its probable consequences.

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