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Cabinet Debates Political Situation Prior to Rabin’s Washington Visit

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For four hours today the Cabinet debated the diplomatic and international options and problems now facing Israel in advance of Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s Washington visit this week. At Rabin’s request, “no new decision were taken, Cabinet Secretary Gershon Avner told newsmen later. The decisions, apparently, have been left to when Rabin returns with a full picture of how the Americans, and their recent Arab guests, see the future of the peace efforts.

Avner said there had been “differences of stress and emphasis “between ministers during the long debate. But, he added, the picture which some commentators had been seeking to portray–of the Cabinet split into two definite camps, the one favoring early talks with Jordan, the other preferring a second Israel-Egyptian dialogue as top priority–was incorrect.

The Cabinet debate opened with a briefing from Foreign Minister Yigal Allon who referred to U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s series of talks with Arab leaders last month and with Israel Ambassador Simcha Dinitz over the weekend. No details of this were made available, although earlier in the day Israel Radio from Washington had quoted Mordechai Shalev, the Minister at the Embassy, as denying reports that Kissinger had indicated to Dinitz he would be seeking far-reaching concessions from Israel to Jordan during his talks with Rabin.

WILL PRESS FOR BILATERAL RELATIONS

Avner echoed other official sources here who have been stressing the part that “bilateral relations” will play–at Israel’s insistence–in the talks Rabin holds with President Ford, Kissinger and Defense Secretary James Schlesinger this week. The Premier told the Cabinet, Avner said, of his intentions to press for progress in bilateral relations. This meant, he added pointedly, military supplies, economic assistance.

There has been some concern expressed here as the weeks since the Nixon-Kissinger visits have turned into months at the relatively slow pace at which the undertakings given then have been translated into action.

A propose of arms supplies. Allon also reported to the Cabinet session on Israeli Ambassador Asher Ben Natan’s talks with French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing last week which he said had been the warmest such conversation in many long years. The practical results, if any, will make themselves better felt at the end of Oct. when French Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues makes his planned visit to Israel, Allon told the ministers. Ben Natan’s conversation with the French President had been confined to a general review of positions, with the Ambassador being given full opportunity to express Israel’s views. (See separate story)

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