JERUSALEM (Jul. 28)
Former foreign Minister Abba Eban left today on a two week “information mission” to the United States for the Likud government. Eban, a Labor MK, said on a radio interview before his departure that he saw nothing wrong in undertaking a mission for Likud because he would confine his efforts to explaining government policies in areas where there is a brood consensus and a necessity to inform American opinion about Israel’s problems before the Geneva conference reconvenes.
According to Eban there is a “national consensus” in Israel not to return to the 1967 borders and to oppose a Palestinian state in territories that Israel may evacuate. He said that in discussing these matters he would be expressing the views of his own party.
In response to questions, Eban said he thought the issue of legalizing three settlements on the West Bank, which drew a sharp American rebuke this week, had been exaggerated. He noted that the former Labor-led government authorized settlements on the West Bank though it limited them to strategic areas whereas the Begin government appears to be less selective. Eban told newsmen at the airport that he was not in full agreement with the new government. He will meet with U.S. officials in Washington and with the media in various parts of the country.
He said he undertook the mission at the invitation of Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and that it was approved by Labor Alignment leader Shimon Peres. Eban will stop over in London briefly before proceeding to New York.