Democratic Official in Israel, New Envoy Expected in January

As Middle East peace talks enter a delicate transition phase, a highly placed figure in the Democratic establishment is holding private talks here this week with top Israeli leaders.

Stuart Eizenstat, domestic affairs adviser in the Carter administration and among those said to be close to President-elect Bill Clinton, has meetings scheduled with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He will undoubtedly report to Clinton on his talks here.

Meanwhile, Rabin and Peres have decided to have their designated new ambassador to Washington in place when the Clinton administration takes office.

Itamar Rabinovich will take up his post at the embassy immediately after the inauguration of the new president in January. The timing marks a change from a statement made to an interviewer last week by the present envoy, Zalman Shoval, that he expected to stay until the spring.

Rabinovich is again leading the Israeli team in the bilateral peace talks with Syria, which resume Monday in Washington. He is to continue to fulfill this function even after assuming his new diplomatic assignment.

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