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Rabin Says He is Not Convinced Rabat Summit Closed Doors to Negotiations with Egypt, Jordan

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Premier Yitzhak Rabin will deliver Israel’s official reaction to the Rabat summit meeting when he opens a political debate in the Knesset tomorrow. Sources here indicated today that there would be no modification of Israel’s adamant refusal to negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization. But the Premier Is expected to hold out the prospects of talks with less extremist elements in the Arab world.

Briefing the Labor Alignment Knesset faction this evening in preparation for tomorrow’s debate, Rabin said he was not convinced that the Rabat summit conference foreclosed negotiations with Egypt and Jordan. He cautioned his Labor colleagues against drawing hasty conclusions from the public declarations of Arab leaders and newspaper headlines.

Rabin will be addressing the Knesset Just as Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger arrives in Cairo to begin his second Middle East trip in three weeks. The Secretary is expected in Israel Thursday evening. Cabinet sources confirmed that the government will draw no final conclusions, about the post-Rabat situation until it hears Kissinger’s report on his own latest conversations with Arab leaders.

ISRAEL WILL DECIDE OWN FUTURE

Rabin’s remarks in the Knesset tomorrow are expected to pose questions rather than offer answers. The questions are, as he said in Tel Aviv last week, whether Egypt will be able to continue separate negotiations with Israel after Rabat and whether Jordan can still be regarded as a negotiating partner for a settlement on Israel’s eastern frontier. The latter question appears to have been answered negatively by the Rabat decision recognizing the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

Rabin spoke in general terms about the situation confronting Israel when he addressed a delegation of the Joint Israel Appeal from Britain at an air base in northern Israel today. The group were guests of Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur. Rabin said that “Israel is sufficiently strong today to decide on her own future regard-less of the Rabat decisions or the decisions of the United Nations General Assembly. The only question is to what extent shall we be able to prepare for war on one hand and continue building up the State with the other.”

Rabin added that even If the majority of the world’s nations turn their backs on Israel because of Arab oil “we can still carry on with our mission and we are sure we can overcome our problems because we here are united and the Jewish nation is united at our side.”

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