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Rabin Feels Carter Gave ‘too Much’ at His Meeting with Syrian Leader

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Premier Yitzhak Rabin said today that he thought President Carter gave “too much” at his meeting with Syrian President Hafez Assad in Geneva yesterday and that he was worried about certain recent developments between Israel and the U.S. Rabin made his remarks to an Israel Radio reporter during an electioneering tour of Galilee. It was one of the few public statements by Rabin since he officially went on vacation April 22.

He said he had an uneasy feeling while he watched the Carter-Assad meeting on television last night. “I cannot recall that President Assed asked (Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid) Brezhnev to meet him half way, say in Belgrade,” Rabin said. He was referring to the fact that Carter agreed to meet Assad in Geneva instead of in Washington where he, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan had journeyed to meet Carter.

Rabin indicated that he was disturbed by the proposal to deny Israel preferred nation status with respect to American arms supplies. He noted that Carter has yet to approve the proposal and said he hoped he would reject it. He also said he hoped that other Arab leaders would not get any erroneous impressions from the Carter-Assad meeting.

Meanwhile, political sources here have taken sharp issue with Carter’s statement after his meeting with Assad that all Middle East leaders have accepted the general concept that demilitarized zones and defense outposts should be established as part of a Middle East peace agreement. The sources said that defense outposts were no substitute for defensible borders. They said it would be regrettable if Carter accepted such conditions from the Arabs.

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