Reason for Allon’s 36-hour Trip to Europe is Shrouded in Secrecy

The secrecy surrounding Foreign Minister Yigal Allon’s 36-hour trip to Europe over the weekend has aroused speculation–flatly denied by the Foreign Ministry–that he might have met with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Allon left Friday and returned to Jerusalem last night. His trip was unannounced and was confirmed by the Foreign Ministry only after news of it was published in today’s edition of Yediot Achronot.

A Ministry spokesman said Allon had been to two Western capitals “on Ministry business” but refused to say which capitals and what business. Yediot Achronot said he visited Switzerland. The Foreign Minister reported on his trip at today’s Cabinet session. But his report was described by informed sources as only partial for fear of potential leaks.

Official sources said Allon could not possibly have met a PLO representative because such a meeting would have been in defiance of the government’s declared policy. There was also speculation that he may have met with an African leader or a Soviet diplomat, but no confirmation was obtainable from tight-lipped Foreign Ministry officials.

There was also no indication why the visit was shrouded in secrecy. The Yediot Achronot report carried no by-line. There was no way of ascertaining whether it resulted from a deliberate leak or whether a sharp-eyed reporter had spotted Allon at Ben Gurion Airport.

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