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Knesset Committee Members Say They Are Being Kept in the Dark About Diplomatic Events in Mideast

Members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee complained bitterly to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan yesterday that the committee is being kept “in the dark” about diplomatic events now occurring in the Middle East. Dayan, who had come to brief the committee, was told that virtually all the information it was given by the government also appeared in the press.

The MKs acknowledged that there have been some “leaks” from committee sources and were prepared to take measures to stop them. But they charged that the government was using the risk of leaks as a pretext to withhold information. Yitzhak Navon, of the Labor Alignment, a former chairman of the committee, said on a television interview that apart from Dayan, Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and Premier Menachem Begin, it was his feeling that the Cabinet itself was not being given the full facts on current developments.

Some sources said that Dayan was not totally informed and therefore was in no position to offer an in-depth picture of ongoing diplomatic moves. Committee chairman Moshe Arens has asked Attorney General Aharon Barak to investigate the legal aspects of leaks from the committee.

SECRET TALKS CLAIMED

Meanwhile, Hoaretz’s military correspondent in Cairo, Ze’ev Shiff, reported today that Dayan has held secret talks with Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan el-Tahami in Morocco to discuss the “next phase” of the Cairo conference. According to Shiff, the talks were arranged with the blessings of Morocco’s King Hassan, one of the few Arab leaders to publicly support President Anwar Sadat’s peace initiative. Shiff described Tahami as being very close to Sadat. He was a member of Sadat’s party visiting Jerusalem last month.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has vigorously denied that any secret talks have taken place or that Dayan has met secretly with Tahami. But Shiff reported from Cairo that Egyptian sources confirmed that secret meetings are taking place, presumably away from the formal conference at the Mena House now the focus of world attention.

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