BONN (Jul. 13)
Moderate optimism was expressed here following a three-hour conference yesterday between Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin and there was an indication from American sources that should clear progress be made Kissinger may revisit the Middle East for a 10-day renewal of his “shuttle” diplomacy at the end of this month or early August to wrap up the disengagement agreement.
Kissinger and Rabin said after the meeting that progress was made for an Israeli-Egyptian accord although Rabin noted that “certain difficulties” had to be overcome. One difficulty that has been reported is a proposal to have American technicians man the radar systems at Mitle and Gidi passes which are now operated by Israel to provide her with an early warning of an Egyptian attack. However, Rabin in several public statements made here before his talks with Kissinger said Israel would prefer the warning system to be manned by Israel and Egypt.
Before coming to Bonn, Kissinger discussed the Middle East situation with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in Geneva on Friday. It is generally believed that Gromyko agreed to Kissinger’s continued efforts to secure an Israeli-Egyptian agreement but stressed that a time limit for a return to the Geneva conference on the Mideast must be set.
On his visit to West Germany, the first by an Israeli Premier, Rabin said that people do not forget the past, but Israel, like West Germany, wanted to work for the future. He said that after a few days here he felt there was understanding and friendship for Israel in West Germany and that many things could be solved on this basis.
Rabin appeared to have established a good working relationship with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, although both had expressed different views on the Mideast problem. The West Germans had argued that Israel should be flexible toward Arabs while Rabin had sought to convince the Germans that for the present time Western Europe should stay out of the negotiating process between Israel and the Arab states.