TEL AVIV (Jun. 23)
Defense Minister Shimon Peres left for Washington today saying that he was going to the United States sooner than originally planned because Israel wanted to resume talks on long-term American military aid without delay. Speaking to reporters at Ben Gurion Airport prior to his departure. Peres denied he had been summoned to Washington because of American anger over Israeli Air Force attacks on terrorist bases in Lebanon. “There is no connection what so ever between the action and my mission.” he maintained.
However the decision to advance the talks scheduled for next month came after a telephone conversation last night between Peres and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Peres is scheduled to meet Kissinger and U.S. Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger tomorrow. The Israeli Defense Minister is being accompanied by his assistant, former Air Force Commander Gen. Mordecai Hod, and Gen. Herzl Shafir. head of the general staff branch at General Headquarters.