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Dayan: Can’t Conceive of Any Change in Nixon’s Mideast Policies

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, returning today from the U.S., said he did not “conceive of any change” in President Nixon’s policies in the Middle East during his second term. Dayan told reporters at Lod Airport that “basically President Nixon remains President of the United States,” meaning that U.S. interests are foremost in establishing his policies. However, Dayan said he did not think changes were likely regarding the Middle East “as long as his close advisers remain at their posts and as long as the President will maintain his strong posture versus the Russians.”

Dayan said that the Middle East question was sure to be raised during 1973 in contacts between the U.S. and the Soviets. He said Washington would like to advance toward a partial Israeli-Egyptian settlement to reopen the Suez Canal “and so do we, but the matter is up to the Egyptians.”

Dayan chided newspapers for speculating, prior to his trip to Washington last week, that he carried “a shopping list for military hardware.” “It was a wrong guess,” he said. Dayan did not discuss his talks with U.S. officials. While in Washington he met with Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Presidential advisor Henry Kissinger as well as with top Pentagon and CIA officials.