Israel Satisfied with New Development

Israel responded favorably today to the agreement announced in New York after Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan’s talks with President Catter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance on proposals to reconvene the Geneva conference. A Foreign Ministry spokesman, briefing newsmen, noted “with satisfaction” that the agreement does not require acceptance of the U.S.-Soviet joint declaration of Oct. I as a precondition for participation in the Geneva conference.

The spokesman indicated that Israel was also satisfied that the agreement reaffirmed that Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 remain the basis for reconvening the Geneva conference without change. He stressed, however, that Israel still has grave reservations and criticisms of the U.S.-Soviet declaration. He said its mention of the “legitimate rights of the Palestinians” continues to cause concern because of the Arab and Soviet interpretation of that phrase.

The Cabinet is due to meet in special session tomorrow to consider the understanding reached between Dayan and the American leaders. Premier Menachem Begin, who remains confined to the hospital, is expected to be absent from the Cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile, the Labor Alignment and the Democratic Movement for Change have called off tomorrow’s special Knesset session that they had asked for to debate the looming crisis with Washington. Labor Alignment leader Shimon Peres agreed to postpone the debate in light of the Dayan-Carter agreement until the latest developments are clarified.

(At the United Nations, diplomats said today that chances have improved for reconvening the Geneva conference following the U.S.-Israel statement. According to these diplomats, the Arabs can attend the Geneva talks on the basis of the U.S.-Soviet joint declaration that was released Saturday while Israel can attend with assurances that Security Council Resolution 242 remains the basis for negotiations, as re-stated in the U.S.-Israel announcement.)

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