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Eban, Rogers Confer on Mideast

Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Secretary of State William P. Rogers met here today for one hour. Eban reportedly emphasized Israel’s need for more American combat aircraft to maintain the military balance in the Middle East in view of the continuing Soviet shipment of military equipment to Egypt. He refused to disclose Rogers’ response when questioned by newsmen after the meeting. The Israeli Foreign Minister referring, however, to the joint Soviet-Egyptian communique issued yesterday in Moscow, said the communique did not contain a single moderate, truthful or peaceful word.

Eban and Rogers were believed to have discussed again an interim agreement for reopening the Suez Canal. Eban said it was his understanding that the US would continue and intensify its exploration of the possibilities for an interim settlement. Asked about the possible affects of President Nixon’s scheduled Summit meeting in Moscow next May on the Middle East, the Israeli Foreign Minister replied that it was a long way off in Middle East terms and said Israel’s concerns were more immediate.

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