Jerusalem (Oct. 17)
Premier Golda Meir told the Cabinet today that she expects the United States to resume deliveries of Phantom jets to Israel immediately. Cabinet secretary Michael Nir told reporters that Mrs. Meir’s statement was made in the course of a wide-ranging political report in which she referred to Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s discussions with US Secretary of State William P. Rogers last Thursday and the latter’s assertion afterwards that the US would review its military commitments to Israel in light of President Nixon’s pledge to maintain the balance of military power in the Middle East.
Mrs. Meir, who is acting Foreign Minister in Eban’s absence, deplored the joint Egyptian-Soviet communique issued in Moscow last week in which the USSR undertook to strengthen Egypt’s military capacity. The Cabinet officially welcomed a resolution endorsed by 78 US Senators urging the Nixon administration to resume the supply of Phantoms to Israel without delay. (See separate story P. 2)
In another development, reliable sources said here last night that proposals have been broached to Israel for a senior American official to be entrusted as a mediator to further efforts to obtain an interim agreement between Israel and Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal. The idea was reportedly under consideration by US officials at the United Nations. It envisions an American diplomat playing a role similar to that of Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, the Secretary General’s special representative to the Mideast, in the negotiation of an interim agreement.
Reportedly under consideration was a new series of talks, preferably on the ministerial level, during the current session of the General Assembly. Sources here said the idea has not yet taken shape and was not brought up during the two recent meetings between Eban and Rogers. No proposals have been submitted by the American side and therefore details such as the venue of the talks–the Middle East or New York–have not been discussed, the sources said. They added that Israel was not opposed to the idea in principle.