Jerusalem (Nov. 21)
Premier Golda Meir will meet with President Nixon in Washington before the Christmas holidays, informed sources here said today. They said Mrs. Meir would visit the US next month to address a United Jewish Appeal rally and would use that occasion to meet with Nixon over the growing differences between Israel and the US on the Middle East military balance and the means to reach an interim agreement to reopen the Suez Canal.
Mrs. Meir told members of the Cabinet today that when she is ready to go to the US the Cabinet will be informed and will have a chance to discuss the matter. (State Department spokesman Charles Bray said on Friday that Mrs. Meir may visit Washington in mid-December during the course of what he said was understood to be a private visit to the US. He said that Mrs. Meir “might make official calls in Washington” but as of now “nothing is settled.”)
Israel has made its participation in talks on an interim Suez settlement conditional on the resumption of shipments of Phantom jets. Mrs. Meir reiterated Friday, however, that Israel was prepared to discuss an overall settlement with Egypt without setting prior conditions.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban said tonight that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s speech yesterday calling for war against Israel deserves strong international criticism and “shows a blatant disregard of the aspirations and interests of peace loving peoples everywhere.” (See separate story.) Israeli officials studying Sadat’s text described this as his most belligerent so far that left him almost no possibility for retraction.
Addressing Egyptian troops along the Suez Canal yesterday, Sadat said, “I have come to tell you that the battle is at hand.” He said he had made a decision to fight Israel because there “is no longer any hope whatsoever of a peaceful settlement.” Sadat exhorted the soldiers to “fight ferociously to prove to the world that we are a fighting people.”