White House Confirms Reagan’s Meeting with Begin Will Take Place As Scheduled on Monday
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White House Confirms Reagan’s Meeting with Begin Will Take Place As Scheduled on Monday

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The White House confirmed today that the scheduled meeting next Monday between President Reagan and Premier Menachem Begin will take place as had been previously scheduled. They would not however disclose the time of the meeting.

At the same time, the State Department announced that Secretary of State Alexander Haig will meet in New York Friday morning with the Israeli Premier. Begin is scheduled to address the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament Friday morning.

According to various press reports today, administration officials have suggested that Reagan may not meet Begin as a means to insure that Israeli troops do not take over Beirut. (Begin, in an interview with Israel television shown last night after he departed to New York, refused to say what Israel would do. “I don’t want to dodge, so I’d rather not reply at all … in a few days it might become clear.”


(Begin said there were some “difference of nuance” with the U.S. regarding “a line that has stabilized,” but the discussions were being held “as between friends.” He stressed the fundamental unanimity between Jerusalem and Washington on the key issue that Lebanon must not be allowed to become a springboard for PLO terrorism again.)

At the State Department today, spokesman Dean Fischer had limited comment on troop movement in and around Beirut. But he added that the U.S. expected “that the various parties will adhere to their cease-fire declarations.”

Fischer said that special U.S. envoy Philip Habib continues to remain in Beirut and is having “discussions with a wide variety of Lebanese governmental and political leaders.” He said however that while Habib has not had direct contact with the PLO, he had had meetings with people who have direct contact with the PLO. “Obviously many Lebanese leaders have contact with the PLO,” he said.

The spokesman said he thought there was “nothing unusual” about a report that the Soviet Union has moved an airborne division near its border with Syria.

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