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U.S. Seen As on the Verge of Renewing Its Memo of Understanding

Political circles confirmed over the weekend reports that the United States is about to renew the Memorandum of Understanding on strategic cooperation between Israel and the U.S. which was suspended last year following Israel’s extension of civilian law to the Golan Heights.

According to government sources, Secretary of State Alexander Haig sent Premier Menachem Begin a letter in which he mentioned the need to discuss the renewal of the memorandum. Haig said this should be one of the topics to be discussed during the forthcoming visit of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon to Washington. Sharon is to address the annual meeting of the United Jewish Appeal national leadership conference next week and is expected to meet with Administration officials then.

Haig’s letter included compliments to Begin for the leadership he showed in completing Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai and stated that this was “the most important part of the peace agreement.”

President Reagan, himself, at a nationally televised press conference from the White House last Thursday night indicated in response to questions that the memorandum will be “implemented again” but he did not say when. He said the memorandum had been “temporarily …suspended” and “we regretted having to do that.”

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