Kissinger Returns from Syria but Without List of Israeli Pows

U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger returned here briefly tonight to report to Israeli officials on his talks over the weekend in Jordan and Syria. After 90 minutes of meeting with Foreign Minister Abba Eban, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Deputy Premier Yigal Allon, Kissinger was airborne once again, this time on his way back to Washington with a stopover in London.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned that he had not brought with him a Syrian agreement to publish the names of Israeli POWs, a pre-requisite for disengagement talks with Israel. The Secretary, nevertheless, declared he had brought with him “constructive suggestions” because he had raised with President Hafez Assad possible ways of getting disengagement talks started despite the Israeli precondition. These possibilities seem to revolve around Kissinger himself in the role of middleman with perhaps Assad providing Kissinger with the POW list rather than losing face by providing it to Israel.

If a formula is found, well placed observers expect some kind of Israeli-Syrian military working group to be set up perhaps in Geneva, perhaps elsewhere to talk disengagement. The Secretary’s schedule precludes another visit by him to the region for the next several weeks.

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