WASHINGTON (Nov. 1)
Israeli Premier Golda Meir asserted today that Israel has not been under any pressure from the United States and that the U.S. and Israel “have a common goal” of preserving the cease-fire “toward the advancement of a true and lasting peace” in the Middle East. Speaking at a press conference in a Washington hotel after her meetings with President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger earlier in the day, Mrs. Meir admitted that there had been some discussions of the Oct 22 cease-fire lines. She said that no one knows exactly where those lines were.
Mrs. Meir conceded that keeping the cease-fire “would be simpler” if the lines between Israel and Egyptian forces were straightened out, but now “everybody is mixed up with everybody else.” She said the adjustments should be arrived at by negotiations between Israel and Egypt. However, she stressed that Israel could keep the cease-fire under any circumstances and the problem was Egypt’s refusal to maintain it.
The Israeli Premier said the question of prisoners of war has nothing to do with any other issue. She said the Geneva Convention requires the handing over of POW lists to the International Red Cross and then allowing the Red Cross to visit the prisoners. She reiterated that Israel was ready to exchange the 7000 Egyptians it holds for the 370-380 Israeli POWs and wanted an immediate exchange of wounded prisoners. She said Israel was very concerned about prisoners held by Syria because of the past treatment of Israeli prisoners there.
The Israeli Premier denied knowledge of the so-called “corridor” that has been reportedly worked out by the U.S. to allow the trapped Egyptian Third Army to be directly supplied with food and medicine from Cairo. “This is the first time I hear of it,” she said.