TEL AVIV (Jul. 22)
Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin arrived here from Washington today for consultations preliminary to the visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joseph J. Sisco. Sisco is expected here at the end of next week though no date has been announced yet in Washington, Rabin voiced doubt that Sisco would bring any new suggestions or proposals for ending current impasse over an interim agreement with Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal or a broader settlement. “The visit is part of the non-stop dialogue we are having with the Americans.” the Israeli envoy said, adding that one must not link Sisco’s visit with “expectations.” Rabin, who has been openly critical of American Mideast policy, told newsmen at the airport that he did not expect any dramatic change in the near future with regard to the American attitude toward Israel. “There is no change in the amount of patience or impatience that the Americans hold for Israel.” he said when asked about Washington’s delay in responding to Israel’s request for more Phantom jets and other arms aid. He did not elaborate on that statement. He said that to the best of his knowledge, nothing basically has changed in the Egyptian position. He made that remark when asked if the Bergus-Sterner mission to Cairo had reported any change. Donald G, Borgus, the ranking American diplomatic representative in Egypt and Michael Sterner, head of the State Department’s Egyptian Desk, returned to Washington from Cairo last week to report on a series of talks with Egyptian leaders.
Rabin smiled when he asked newsmen surrounding him at the airport if they were allowed to interview him. He was referring to the apparent displeasure indicated by Premier Golda Meir and Foreign Minister Abba Eban over his sharp criticism of U.S. Mideast policy in a taped interview with Kol Israel radio, broadcast here July 3. Rabin charged at the time that the U.S. sought a Mideast settlement even if it meant stripping Israel of most of the territories captured in the Six-Day War. He also said that Washington was primarily concerned with its own interests in the region and didn’t want Israel’s friendship to be its sole asset there. The Cabinet, In an unusual procedure, announced that Rabin’s remarks had been an item on the agenda of its July 4 meeting. Asked if he would continue to speak out. Rabin said “I shall continue to act according to my feelings.”