Cabinet Moderates Pressing Beginto Send Shamir to Washington for Talks with Administration Officials
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Cabinet Moderates Pressing Beginto Send Shamir to Washington for Talks with Administration Officials

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Moderate members of Premier Menachem Begin’s Cabinet who are still anxious to pursue a diplomatic solution to the impasse in Lebanon are believed to be pressing Begin to send Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir to Washington without delay to discuss the situation with the new Secretary of State, George Shultz, and other Administration leaders, it was learned today.

The moderates ore said to feel that the month-long efforts by U.S. special envoy Philip Habib to negotiate the peaceful withdrawal of Palestine Liberation Organization forces from west Beirut have reached the end of the line. They believe Israel should consult with the U.S. “on the highest level” to achieve coordination with Washington on an overall political settlement in Lebanon.


Begin apparently would prefer Shultz to come here. In a message of congratulations to the new Secretary when he was sworn into office last Friday, Begin invited Shultz to visit Israel at a mutually convenient date. Israel Radio reported today that Begin would like Schultz to come to the region and take over the diplomatic efforts himself. He reportedly hinted this in conversations with visiting Americans in the last few days.

Meanwhile, officials here are closely watching the current talks in Washington between Administration leaders and the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and Syria, Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Abdel Halim Khaddam, respectively. The two Arab ministers met with Shultz yesterday and with President Reagan today on the Lebanese situation and other matters. (See separate story.)

There was no immediate reaction here, meanwhile, to Reagan’s order to holt the shipment of cluster bombs equipment pending his review of Israel’s explanation of their use in Lebanon. Reagan’s suspension of shipment of cluster bombs is the third time he has stopped delivery of weapons to Israel. Last year he temporarily suspended the shipment of F-16 warplanes after Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, and again when Israel bombed terrorist headquarters in Beirut. The aircraft were finally released and sent to Israel.

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