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Vance Defends Dayan’s Meetings with West Bank, Gaza Palestinians

Secretary of State Cyrus Vance today upheld Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan’s recent meetings with two Palestinians as being within Israeli-American understandings about such contacts and characterized them as aiding the “autonomy negotiations” between Israel and Egypt for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Replying to a reporter’s question at a news conference, Vance said, regarding Dayan’s meetings, that “it has always been clear that both Israel and the U.S. could have discussions with them. They are both helpful and useful for the autonomy negotiations.”

Vance virtually ruled out an American-Egyptian Israeli summit conference for this autumn in Washington, saying that there are “no plans” for it. He said that his session late this month with Dayan and Egyptian Defense Minister Kamal Hassan Ali is the “only” meeting thus far” that is planned; That session, Vance said, will deal with the monitoring in Sinai related to Israel’s withdrawal from the area under the Camp David accords.

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