Mrs, Meir: Nixon Will Not Let Israel Down During Summit Talks with Brezhnev

Premier Golda Meir said today that she was convinced that President Nixon would not let Israel down in his summit talks with Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev in Washington next month. She said she anticipated no change in U.S., Middle East policy and could only hope for a change for the better in Brezhnev’s policy.

Mrs. Meir spoke and answered questions at a foreign Press Association luncheon here. She said there had been “no basic differences of opinion on questions of policy with the Nixon Administration” since she took office. She said that Nixon did not doubt the sincerity of Israel’s desire for peace and that he believed that a strong Israel was the best guarantee of peace in the region. Mrs. Meir added that Nixon had reason to be satisfied with America’s Middle East policy.

Referring to the Watergate scandal, Mrs. Meir said it was sad and disturbing for friends of the U.S. and friends of Nixon. She said she “did not know the first thing” about the affair itself but could state firmly that “nothing whatever has changed” in relations-between Israel and the U.S. Government and between Israel and Nixon.

Mrs. Meir evaded questions as to whether she plans to remain in office after next fall’s national elections. “What would Israeli journalists do to me, supposing I decided to stand for re-election, and I told the foreign press first?” she asked. She promised that she would decide before Oct. “and the secret will get around fast enough.” The Israeli Premier said that doctors who examined her during a hospital checkup last week had not advised her one way or the other but only begged her-not to cite them as witnesses whatever her decision.

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