TEL AVIV (Feb. 15)
A prominent Jewish personality, possibly Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, attempted to arrange a meeting with a top Egyptian leader, possibly President Anwar Sadat, but was turned down by the Egyptians, it was learned here last night. The uncertainty over what happened and who was involved stemmed from different versions of the episode given by Dr. Goldmann to the evening newspaper Yediot Acharonot and Kol Israel radio.
Both Goldmann versions differed from the one Premier Golda Meir gave last night to an audience of some 200 professors and lecturers in social science of the Hebrew University faculty in Jerusalem. Mrs. Meir said she had given her personal approval to an attempt by Goldmann to arrange, through go-betweens, a meeting with Sadat or another senior member of the Cairo government, but the mission did not materialize because the Egyptians were not interested.
Last year Dr. Goldmann reportedly had a meeting arranged with the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser which was aborted at the last minute because Mrs. Meir and her Cabinet refused to give it their sanction. Last night Mrs. Meir said that she was approached by Goldmann with his plan about three months ago and gave her approval but as far as she knew, nothing ever came of it.
In a telephone interview last night with Yediot Acharonot from his Paris home, Dr. Goldmann said that after getting a positive reply from the Prime Minister he contacted his go-between but was informed later that Cairo was not interested in a visit. He said, however, that the meeting he sought was not with Sadat but with another important Egyptian leader. Two hours later, Kol Israel broadcast an interview with Dr. Goldmann who said the newspaper story was not true. He said it was not he who planned to go to Egypt but another personality whose identity he could not disclose. Dr. Goldmann said he was surprised and disturbed that Mrs. Meir made public the incident which he had promised to keep secret.