TEL AVIV (Dec. 5)
U.S. Undersecretary of State Kenneth Rush left Israel last night after cautioning that the success of the Middle East peace conference opening in Geneva Dec. 18 depended upon the ability of the participants to reach an agreement. He said the American role was to bring the parties to the peace table and in that respect the U.S. is doing its utmost.
Rush, who headed the U.S. delegation attending the funeral Monday of David Ben Gurion, said that his talks during the past two days with Premier Golda Meir and Foreign Minister Abba Eban were very helpful. “Israel can be proud of her government and its fervent desire for peace,” he told reporters before departing. He said he hoped a way could be found to resume the stalled Israeli-Egyptian cease-fire talks at Kilometer 101, and that America would help both sides close the gap be tween them.
Rush flatly denied reports from Arab sources that the U.S. Seventh Fleet was in the Bab el Mandeb straits linking the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. There was no confirmation here of reports yesterday that Israel had successfully sent ships through the straits to test the Egyptian blockade.