No European Initiative, Little U.S. Activity on Mideast, Israeli Source Says

A senior government source said here today that there was no new European initiative in the offing on the Middle East and that American diplomatic activity in the region was less than had been anticipated during President Nixon’s recent “Middle East Month” when he met in Washington with Premier Golda Meir, King Hussein of Jordan and Hafez Ismail, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s personal envoy.

The source reiterated the view expressed by some observers here earlier this week that there was no substance to reports that Britain was pressing for a European initiative in the Middle East and had sought the cooperation of West Germany in that endeavor. According to the source, many European and other diplomats were beginning to realize that the kind of peace settlement envisioned by Egypt did not even approximate the normal definition of the term.

“They want 100 percent of the territories but do not offer anywhere near 100 percent of peace,” the source said, referring to Cairo. He said Israel would not insist on exchanging ambassadors with Egypt as part of a peace settlement but would demand some of the basic components that comprise normal relations between nations. The source said that Israel would treat Sadat’s recent war threats ambivalently. He said that while the Army must take them seriously, politicians and diplomats here could afford to recall the past three years of unfulfilled threats by the Egyptian President.

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