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Rabin Minimizes Strained Relations Between Jerusalem and Washington

Premier Yitzhak Rabin said today that President Ford’s meeting with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Salzburg June 1-2 and his own forthcoming meeting with Ford in Washington June 11-12 were part of the reassessment of Middle East policy now being conducted by the American government.

In a television address in which he appeared to be minimizing the effects of the strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington since the breakdown of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s “shuttle” diplomacy last March, Rabin noted that relations with the U.S. were only “suspended in a particular area”–that of negotiating new arms contracts.

Rabin stressed that arms “continue to flow in plentifully” under contracts signed in the past, He said that Israel would continue to grow strong and that the suspension of new arms contracts with the U.S. would not effect its military strength in 1975. If Israel stands firm and makes an effort to win over public opinion in the U.S., it will “overcome” the present tension with Washington, Rabin declared.

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