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Possible Ford, Assad Meeting

The White House said today that an “open possibility” exists that President Ford may meet in the near future with Syrian President Hafez Assad but not in the Middle East, Deputy news secretary John Carlson, when asked whether a meeting was being considered, replied: “The President has always expressed an interest in meeting with representatives of the parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, but there are no specific plans at this time.”

Carlson made the comment after being asked about a report from Israeli sources that Assa is willing to meet with Ford before the end of May when the mandate for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force on the Golan Heights is due to expire.