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Time Ripe for New Diplomatic Moves in Mideast; Indications That Rogers Pressed Dayan for Some Conces

State Department spokesman Charles Bray volunteered the statement today that Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Secretary of State William P. Rogers agree that the time is ripe for new diplomatic movement in the Middle East. At Rogers’ meeting with Dayan this morning “it seemed clear in all minds there was a need for some kind of diplomatic process to get underway,” Bray said at the State Department’s press briefing.

His voluntary remarks were interpreted by some observers here as an indication that Rogers may have pressed Dayan for some concessions as a prelude to further pressures on other Israeli officials. Deputy Premier Yigal Allon and Foreign Minister Abba Eban are expected in Washington in the next 3-4 weeks.

Bray said the “extended discussions” between Dayan and Rogers covered the Middle East situation “in all its aspects and facets” but cautioned reporters “to be careful about jumping to definitive conclusions.” Bray said that “Dayan made no additional requests for arms to the Secretary.”

Asked if the prospect of proximity talks between Israel and Egypt for an interim agreement to reopen the Suez Canal was “still alive,” Bray replied, “Obviously it is one of the processes which is a matter of public record.” He also referred to Rogers’ recent remark that the administration would be taking a more active role to promote negotiations in the Middle East.