WASHINGTON (Jul. 31)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger said today the next step in Middle East negotiations will not be decided until he meets with officials from Arab countries and then again with Israeli officials. Kissinger made his remarks as he and Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon emerged from a three-hour working lunch at the State Department.
Kissinger said that he and Allon had reviewed bilateral and other agreements and had made a great deal of progress for peace in the Mideast. He said he plans to meet with Allon again before the Israeli official leaves Washington.
Asked about the next step in the negotiations. Kissinger said he could not comment “because we cannot make a final decision before our talks with the Arab nations, Egypt, Jordan, etc. and then again with our Israeli friends. Then we shall work out procedures for peace in the Middle East.”
Allon was tight-lipped and refused to comment even on whether he had held his scheduled meeting with Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger this morning. Some observers viewed this as evidence that the Israeli official has experienced some tough talks in his meetings with the Americans despite Kissinger’s remarks today that his discussions with Allon took place in “an extremely cordial and friendly fashion.”
Arab and other Israeli officials, including Premier Yitzhak Rabin, are scheduled to come to Washington during the next month to discuss Mideast peace and other issues.