JERUSALEM (Jun. 16)
President Nixon completed this afternoon a first round of talks with Israeli leaders, during which he sought to allay their fears and doubt about United States-Egyptian nuclear cooperation. The talks were described as “friendly and cordial” by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
During a 90-minute meeting with Premier Yitzhak Rabin, Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon, the President explained the nuclear agreement with Egypt in the general context of United States plans to assist economic development in the Middle East.
A beginning was made during the session on a broad review of Israel’s requests for long-term military and economic aid programs. Israel is hoping Nixon will approve multi-year military and economic commitments to Israel. The communique, to be issued at the end of the Nixon visit, which the Israelis hope will include such a commitment, is expected to announce a U.S. undertaking to supply Israel also with a nuclear power station and the enriched uranium needed to fuel it.
Israel has been negotiating for some time to get such a plant but had not known, as Allon said yesterday, that Egypt had been conducting parallel negotiations and had certainly not expected to obtain the power station as part of a “package” with Egypt. The President and the Israeli leaders also discussed the problems of the Jews in Syria and the Soviet Union.
Nixon thanked the Israelis for the warm welcome he received at Ben Gurion airport and to Jerusalem. His schedule was somewhat delayed because Nixon frequently stopped during his ride through Jerusalem to waive at the crowds which greeted him enthusiastically.
After paying a courtesy call at President Ephraim Katzir’s residence, Nixon spent an hour at the home of former Premier. Golda Meir. Mrs. Meir said she regretted the President could not stay longer “since there were so many things we would have liked to show you.”