WASHINGTON (Jan. 31)
British Prime Minister Edward Heath arrived here today for talks with President Nixon tomorrow and Friday. Among the topics for discussion is the Middle East. Prior to his arrival, there were reports that Heath was bringing a plan for new peacekeeping efforts in the Mideast with a suggestion to Nixon that the U.S. put more pressure on Israel to come to swift terms with the Arab states.
Janet Whiting, assistant to the chief press secretary to the Prime Minister, asserted today that there was “no substance” to these reports. The reports were also denied in London by a Foreign Office spokesman. One well informed source in the British capital termed the reports “wild speculation by someone who knows neither the British government nor the Middle East.”
A British Foreign Office source said: “The Middle East is merely one of some half dozen items that will be discussed in Washington, and not the most important one either. The British view of the Middle East, which will he restated by the Prime Minister, has not changed for a long time. It is that some sort of negotiations ought to be instituted as soon as possible. The Prime Minister takes with him no particular plan for the Middle East.”
This is Heath’s first meeting with Nixon since Britain entered the Common Market Jan. 1. The meeting between Nixon and Heath on Friday will be held at Camp David. Heath’s arrival here is one week before King Hussein is scheduled to confer with Nixon and a month before Israeli Premier Golda Meir is due to meet with the President.