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Israelis See Nothing New in U.S. Renewed Diplomatic Mideast Activity

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Israeli officials seemed unperturbed today by Secretary of State William P. Rogers’ remarks Sunday on the nationally US televised “Meet the Press” program that the US would “very soon” be “very active” in pressing for Egyptian-Israeli negotiations for an interim Suez pact and commitment to “full implementation” of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 242.

There was no official comment here, but unofficial sources said that Rogers was only reiterating long-established US policy in the Middle East. The sources observed that Rogers favored direct negotiations which has always been the central theme of Israel’s own policy and that an agreement to reopen the Suez Canal was something that Israel has already agreed to in principle. They noted that Israel has also accepted in principle Resolution 242 which they pointed out lends itself to numerous and varied interpretations.

Officials here have discounted local newspaper reports from Washington that “political circles” in the US predicted an effort after the Presidential elections to prod Israel for compromises. They said it was not likely that any American officials would indicate such a view on the eve of the elections.

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