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U.S. Promises to Israel Cited

Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said today that the United States has promised Israel to construct the two new air bases in the Negev within one year. He told a press conference here that the agreement was that if the air bases are not completed within the three-year time limit provided in the Camp David agreements for Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai, the U.S. would provide Israel with alternative installations. He did not elaborate.

Israel Radio reported yesterday that the U.S. promised to guarantee all of Israel’s energy needs after the abandonment of the Sinai oil fields. This was one of several commitments made during the peace negotiations in Washington in order to speed up the negotiations, the radio report said. It gave no further details.

Israel returned the Abu Rodeis oil fields in Sinai to Egypt under the terms of the 1975 interim agreement but is still extracting oil from other wells in Sinai. When the first phase of the Israeli withdrawal is completed within nine months of the signing of a peace treaty, Israeli forces will be deployed on the El Arish-Ras Mouhammed line in eastern Sinai, leaving all remaining oil fields in Egyptian hands.

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