WASHINGTON (Apr. 26)
Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan met with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance for nearly four hours at the State Department today but the indications are that Israel and the U.S. still have not reached on agreement on how to proceed on Middle East peace negotiations.
Dayan emerged from the meeting one hour later than expected, saying only that the Egyptian-Israeli negotiations “was the only subject” he discussed with Vance today. He said the discussions were not finished and will continue tomorrow when he returns to the State Department at 10 a.m. Dayan refused to repeat or clarify the statement he made before he left Israel yesterday that Israel will continue to oppose the Carter Administration’s proposed aircraft sales package for Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The question was put to the Foreign Minister because of widespread reports that he had said Israel would rather forego the planes for itself rather than see any delivered to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. What Dayan did say was: “Should the American Administration decide to punish us and not supply us with the planes, we shall have to absorb the punishment and continue to oppose the package deal.”
Dayan told reporters today that he has already said what he has to say on the subject. When they continued to press for clarification, he ended the brief press conference and walked off. Dayan was accompanied by the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Samuel Lewis, when he left Vance’s office, although normally the Secretary of State escorts a visitor after a meeting. Lewis said that Vance was detained. He said Dayan and Vance were in the midst of talks on Mideast peace negotiations.
Dayan, upon his arrival here this morning, was greeted at the State Department entrance by Assistant Secretary of State Harold Saunders and Lewis. The Foreign Minister, who was accompanied by Ambassador Simcha Dinitz and other aides, hurried past reporters, smiling, but did not say anything.
INVITATIONS TO JEWISH LEADERS
Meanwhile, a White House spokesman said today that some 1000 invitations are being sent out to “a cross section” of American Jewish communal leaders, the rabbinic community, the American Jewish press and non-Jewish friends of Israel to participate in a salute to Israel on its 30th anniversary. The spokesman said that President Carter will address the gathering and issue a statement on Israel’s anniversary. Premier Menachem Begin will also address the guests.
The spokesman said that the White House has made a special effort for this festive event to invite members of the rabbinic community, representatives of which have not been invited to the White House as frequently as Jewish communal leaders. The one-hour ceremony will be from 2 to 3 p.m. next Monday, May 1.