JERUSALEM (Aug. 4)
Former Premier Golda Meir denied today a report by NBC-TV that she had met with King Hussein on May. 27. Mrs. Meir’s denial, which was issued by a spokesman, referred only to the time and place of the reported meeting with Hussein. The statement said that “denying the report the former Premier recalled that on that day she had been in negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. (Henry A.) Kissinger on a separation of forces agreement with Syria.”
NBC-TV in a special report Friday said that Mrs. Meir and then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan met with Hussein on May 27 in the Israeli desert near Eilat to discuss the future of the West Bank. The report has brought a demand for an urgent motion on the Knesset agenda by Herut’s Haim Landau. When asked if Premier Yitzhak Rabin knew of this meeting, and if as NBC reported, he also plans to meet with Hussein.
The NBC report has aroused interest in Israel more than other reports of secret meetings between Hussein and Israeli officials because it has not been denied by officials. The refusal by official spokesmen to comment on the report was seen by newspaper commentators as a virtual admission of at least some truth in the NBC story. Even Mrs. Meir’s denial, referring only to time and place, has tended to strengthen the assumption that there was a lot of truth in the report.
It was noted here that May 27 was Shevuot and thus Mrs. Meir and Dayan were free of official duties. It was also pointed out that at the time Kissinger was in Damascus, not Jerusalem. The NBC report was raised at the Cabinet meeting, but Cabinet Secretary Gershon Avner refused to divulge details.