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Israel May Talk to Palestinians but Never to Terrorists, Yariv Says

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Information Minister Aharon Yariv said yesterday that Israel may consider negotiating with the Palestinians if they were not represented by the terrorist organizations. Yariv, speaking in Jerusalem at a briefing on the Nixon visit, reiterated that Israel would not negotiate with the terrorists, but said, “If any other form of representation is in the offing we shall have to look at it, discuss it, and see if it is possible.”

The Yariv statement indicated a departure from the line adopted by the old Meir government which ruled out any dialogue with the Palestinians. Political observers in Jerusalem believe this summer will see a new attempt by the government here to formulate an acceptable policy on the Palestinian issue in preparation for the next round of the Geneva conference. Yariv said Israel was not as optimistic as the U.S. about the Mideast situation, particularly Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s remarks at a press conference about Arab readiness to accept Israel’s existence. “I think there are differences in the degree of optimism,” said Yariv, “but we agree with the U.S. about the possibilities of progress being difficult and tricky.”

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