WASHINGTON (Nov. 18)
The State Department used two sentences today to put a period on the Middle East war scare that flared up Friday. “Both sides have spoken to it publicly and have said they are not going to attack,” said State Department spokesman Paul Hare In referring to Syria and Israel. “I will let the matter rest there for the moment.”
The tense military situation that developed toward the end of last week had set off a flurry of diplomatic activity in Washington over the weekend. Israel notified Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger last Thursday of its intention to call up part of its reserves but assured the Secretary that it did not plan to launch an attack. Kissinger then asked and received similar assurances from the Syrian and Egyptian governments and relayed them to Israel. There was no indication whether the Soviet Union gave the U.S. any indication of its intentions or information on its continuing arms shipments to Syria
Kissinger breakfasted with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin on Saturday at which “a small part” of their conversation related to the Middle East. Later the Secretary lunched with the Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz and with Mordechai Shalev, a senior official of the Israeli Embassy. Dinitz reportedly assured Kissinger that Israel had no aggressive intentions and was assured by the Secretary that the other side had no plans to attack Israel.
According to reports reaching Washington, the Cairo daily Al-Gomhouria, reported today that President Anwar Sadat had reassured President Ford and Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev that neither Egypt nor Syria will initiate hostilities against Israel. According to the paper, Sadat gave his assurances in an exchange of messages with the U.S. and Soviet leaders during the past two days. It said. however, that Sadat described Israeli military deployment on the Syrian front as serious.