TEL AVIV (Sep. 10)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin, in a pre-departure statement at Ben Gurion Airport this morning, said that this was not the time “to detail the targets of my visit (to Washington) and the subjects to be discussed; this I shall do after my return.” He added, however, “All problems that exist between us and the U.S., problems which are based on understanding and friendship of a long time, will no doubt find, in part, their solution during this visit and in part will remain for future discussions.”
Well placed sources in Jerusalem said today that during Rabin’s talks with President Ford, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and other U.S. officials he would state Israel’s preference for talks with Egypt as the next stage of the peace negotiations, but would stress that this priority of Egypt over Jordan is a preference and not a condition.
Rabin will stress, too, the sources said, that Israel is now seeking full peace or real and tangible progress towards peace, and the Arab states’ readiness to advance in the same direction are seen by Israel as a touchstone of their future intentions. The Premier will point out that while the disengagement accords were vitally necessary, they were essentially military arrangements while what is required now is real political progress.
During the Cabinet’s four-hour discussion Sunday in advance of his visit, Rabin told ministers he would reiterate Israel’s position of defensible borders but would refrain from drawing maps; Israel’s determination to hold its talks with each of its neighbors individually, and Israel’s opposition to multilateral talks at which it would be in an uncomfortable minority of one with the Arab participants inevitably drawn after the stand of the most extremist among their number.
Regarding mandates for the UNEF and UNDOF–due for renewal in Oct. and Dec. respectively, Rabin is expected to state that failure to renew them would be tantamount in Israel’s view to the abrogation in effect of the entire disengagement agreements.