American Officers Join UN Truce Observer Teams

Twenty-eight American officers representing the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force arrived at Lod Airport this morning to join the United Nations truce observer teams. The officers and their equipment arrived aboard a Galaxy transport after a 20-hour direct flight from a base at Dover, Del. Their commander, Col. Robert Clark, reported that prior to departure the contingent was briefed by Pentagon and State Department officials on the situation along the Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire line. The American officers will remain on the Israeli side of the line for about 90 days but their stay is expected to be extended. They were welcomed here by UN and Israeli officers.

Meanwhile, Israeli-Egyptian cease-fire talks were resumed, at the Kilometer 101 checkpoint, but on a lower level than before. Officers of the two armies discussed the transfer of medical and other supplies to the encircled town of Suez. But talks on the crucial issue of disengagement of forces remained suspended. The chief Israeli and Egyptian negotiators–Gen. Aharon Yariv and Gen. Mohammed Gemassi–have scheduled no further meetings since their talks ended in deadlock last week. An Israeli liaison officer at Kilometer 101, however, described the atmosphere as good. He said relations between the Israeli and Egyptian officers in the low-level talks are “very friendly, not just formal.” He said that Israeli, Egyptian and United Nations officers still have their evening meals together in the UN tent on the Suez-Cairo road.

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