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Cabinet Backs Continued Negotiations

The Cabinet adopted a resolution yesterday endorsing the continuation of negotiations for an interim settlement with Egypt and authorized Premier Yitzhak Rabin, Foreign Minister Yigal Allon and Defense Minister Shimon Peres to continue conducting negotiations toward that end. The Cabinet acted during a special session at which Rabin briefed the ministers on his discussions in Washington last week with President Ford, Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger and other Administration officials and Congressional leaders.

The resolution stipulated that the negotiations would be continued in accordance with positions approved by the Cabinet before Rabin’s departure for Washington which indicated that Israel would be willing to reassess its stands if the Egyptians would do the same. The negotiating team will report to the full Cabinet on the outcome of the negotiations on the basis of which the Cabinet will formulate its decisions.

The two ministers of the Independent Liberal Party–Moshe Kol and Gideon Hausner–abstained from voting on the resolution. They maintained that the negotiations should not be left entirely in the hands of the Premier. Foreign and Defense Ministers and objected to negotiating for an interim agreement instead of an overall settlement. The general feeling in the Cabinet was that Israel should decide its next moves only after hearing Egypt’s reaction to Rabin’s proposals.

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