WASHINGTON (Sep. 12)
Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joseph J. Sisco met here Friday, reportedly to continue discussions of Israel’s request for more Phantom aircraft. Rabin returned to Washington last week from a brief visit to Israel. According to informed sources here, some U.S. officials including Sisco, feel strongly that the U.S. could coax more flexible terms from Israel on a partial settlement to reopen the Suez Canal by providing the supersonic warplanes rather than by merely dangling them “like carrots.” Other administration officials contend that Washington must have firm guarantees of Israeli concessions before signing a contract for more Phantoms. Rabin and Sisco reportedly reviewed the prospects for a Suez settlement and discussed the forthcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly. Secretary of State William P. Rogers is expected to discuss the same issues with Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban when the latter comes to New York for the General Assembly meeting later this month.