JERUSALEM (Apr. 3)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin said today that the offers and options Israel made to Egypt during the recent negotiations conducted by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, remain open. He also expressed confidence that Israel would succeed in explaining its position to the U.S. in a manner that would elicit the support of a majority of the American public.
Speaking on a television interview, the Premier said that while the failure of Kissinger’s talks disappointed some members of the American Administration, “they should realize that Israel is a sovereign and independent state” and that there is a limit to its flexibility which is determined by the degree of danger to its security arising from concessions without an appropriate contribution to peace by its foes.
Rabin said that despite present differences between Israel and the U.S., the latter has supplied Israel with large quantities of arms “which gave us considerable power.” He said that while Israel could expect pressures from certain “elements that will stress the reassessment approach,” he was confident that Israel would continue to receive all the aid essential to its security.
DOUBTS GENEVA WILL SOLVE PROBLEMS
Rabin denied that his government’s policy was one of “sit tight and wait.” He said that during the recent negotiations for a second-stage Sinai agreement, Israel was forthcoming with a variety of proposals that ranged from a sweeping agreement in which Egypt would have gotten the larger part of the Sinai peninsula in exchange for a formal renunciation of war to a limited interim accord of a military nature. These offers still exist, Rabin declared.
He expressed doubt that the Geneva conference, if it is reconvened, could bring about an agreement. “I would not suggest to ourselves that we regard the conference as an international solution to peace problems,” he said. In an address on the Armed Forces Radio yesterday, Rabin said he believed that Egypt had not foreclosed all options for continued bilateral negotiations for an interim settlement in Sinai.