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Eban; Provisions Necessary for Possibility That Uar Leaders Mean What They Say

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Foreign Minister Abba Eban said today that “it is our duty to make provision, especially in our security thinking and our security planning, for the possibility that the Egyptian leaders might mean what they say,” including that “they do not regard the cease-fire as permanently binding and in certain conditions they would be free to open fire.” Eban warned at a press conference that “it would be absurd just to dismiss this as if it were idle rhetoric.” On the other hand, he observed, there was “significance” in the “almost complete compliance” over the past 10 months with the cease-fire, which began last Aug. 8 but was formally ended March 8. “In Egypt, in the Arab world and in Israel, people have got used to a situation of non-shooting,” Eban said. The Foreign Minister, who earlier this week called on the Kremlin to discuss a resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel, said of the 15 year Soviet-Egyptian treaty that “It is a further development in the establishment of Soviet predominance in Cairo.” Reporting on his recent tour of eight African capitals, Eban said that “African leaders of varying orientations and trends of thought” want African-Israeli contacts to be not only maintained but “developed and reinforced.”

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