Rabin: Distinct Improvement in U.s.-israel Relations in Recent Weeks

Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin said today that there had been a distinct improvement in Israel’s relations with the United States in recent weeks and predicted that the Middle East situation would figure prominently on the agenda of President Nixon’s summit talks with Soviet leaders in Moscow next May.

Rabin arrived here on a private visit to observe the “shloshim” (30-day anniversary) of the death of his father. He said that just before leaving Washington he met with Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joseph J. Sisco. According to Rabin, such a meeting is routine when the Israeli Ambassador returns home on a private or official visit.

Rabin said the US tends to dismiss as unimportant Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s belligerent public statements and deadlines for resuming warfare against Israel and pays more attention to what Sadat says through diplomatic channels. The Israeli diplomat said that President Nixon considers the Middle East conflict so important that he may want to discuss the situation with Israeli leaders before he goes to Moscow. He said that at the moment it appeared both sides want to break the deadlock and resume political activity in order to continue the cease-fire. Rabin said the US was encouraged by Israel’s more flexible attitude.

Foreign Ministry sources in Jerusalem said today that they had no knowledge to confirm reports that United Nations mediator Gunnar V. Jarring is coming to the Middle East. Reports in the foreign press said Dr. Jarring planned to visit Cairo and Jerusalem early next year. Ministry officials said the only information available in Israel was that Dr. Jarring would be in New York Jan. 15 to meet with Israeli and Egyptian representatives.

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