JERUSALEM (Jan. 30)
Political circles said here tonight that an agreement between Israel and the US on negotiations for an interim Suez accord with Egypt is expected within a short time. Foreign Minister Abba Eban, briefing the Cabinet today, said the talks with Washington are nearing a successful conclusion. It was learned that Israel has asked the US to agree to consult with her on any proposal Washington intends to bring before the two parties once negotiations start.
Premier Golda Meir said in an interview with New York Times correspondent C.L. Sulzberger, published in today’s Times, that Israel had made no commitment to the US to resume talks with the Arabs in exchange for the promised delivery of more Phantom jets but that Israel is ready nevertheless to participate in talks conducted by the United Nations special envoy Gunnar V. Jarring According to the Sulzberger interview, Mrs. Meir said Israel’s minimal demands included retention of the Sharm el-Sheikh strong point in southern Sinai and a land bridge linking it with Israel; retention of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and a modification of Israel’s old border with Jordan.
Mrs. Meir added, however, that once negotiations get underway, the Arabs may bring up any matter they wish. “We have never said that there is anything which the other side cannot put on the table.” she told Sulzberger. “If Jordan comes and puts Jerusalem on the table, we won’t get up and say, no, now we go home.” But Mrs. Meir stressed. “Israel has taken a definite position that Jerusalem will not be divided again and is a part of Israel and is the capital of Israel.” She agreed that there could be an arrangement for “Moslem administration of their holy places, but nothing territorial.”