WASHINGTON (Jan. 16)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon said last night that he didn’t see why Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union should be affected by Russia’s repudiation of the 1972 U.S.-Soviet trade agreement. Noting that Jewish emigration was permitted before the Trade Reform Act that linked trade to Soviet emigration practices, Allon said, “I see no reason why Jewish emigration cannot continue in the future regardless of whether there is a trade agreement.”
But the Israeli diplomat was cautious in assessing the future status of emigration from the USSR. “I do hope the Soviet Union will think twice before it takes any revenge against Jews,” Allon said. He stressed that any reduction in the number of Jews allowed to depart because of the aborted trade deal would be a great human tragedy. “And I don’t think the Jewish people deserve another tragedy,” the Israeli Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier said.
VISIT VIEWED AS TIMELY
Allon made his remarks after emerging from a 90-minute meeting with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to discuss the Middle East. He sounded an optimistic note when he said the time had come “to move from the preliminary stage to the practical stage” In negotiations for a Mideast settlement. He recalled that in his visit here five weeks ago he had described his discussions with Kissinger as a preliminary phase.
Allon said his current visit was more timely because of recent developments in the Middle East but did not elaborate. The understanding was that he referred to the current differences between Moscow and Cairo which took the form, publicly at least, in the postponement of Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev’s trip to Egypt. Kissinger described his talks with Allon later as a detailed review of the Middle East situation. “We did not attempt to reach any conclusions but rather to assess the views and possibilities that exist,” he told reporters.