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Egypt Sends U.S. Oil Technicians to Rus Sudar As First Tangible Sign of Impending Israeli Withdrawal

Three American oil technicians employed by the Mobil Oil Company on behalf of Egypt arrived at the Rus Sudar oil field on the Gulf of Suez coast tonight, Israel Radio’s military correspondent reported. The technicians are the first tangible sign of the impending Israeli withdrawal from the Suez coast under the interim agreement with Egypt.

Formally, government officials here stress, the implementation will not start until the U.S. Congress approves the Sinai pact, hopefully later this wee. For that reason the number of technicians in the advance party was out from five, the number originally set by the military protocol signed in Geneva last month, to three. This permits the work of checking and stock-taking to begin according to the timetable and enables Israel at the same time to claim that the formal implementation has not begun.

The first formal step in the implementation is expected to be the arrival at Ras Sudar, a small field 100 kilometers north of the main Abu Rodeis field, of an Egyptian oil tanker. Israel is due to pull out of Ras Sudar finally in mid-November and from Abu Rodeis at the end of November. The first withdrawals in the area to the north will begin January, 1976, ending February 22 with the final pullback from the Sinai passes region.