Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger engaged in a discussion at the Pentagon today presumably on the quality of Soviet and American weapons of comparable purpose used in the Yom Kippur War and Israel’s requirements to meet possible future onslaughts from its Arab neighbor, particularly from the air. No specific information on the nature of the meeting was released.
Sitting in on the discussion were Deputy Defense Secretary William Clements and the head of Israel’s Purchasing Mission in New York, Schmuel Dror. The Israeli Embassy Air Attache. Col. Yeshayahu Areket, who is acting as the Embassy’s Defense Attache, also was present. Dror’s presence seemed to indicate that the question of the cost of U.S. weapons was high on the agenda. President Nixon has not yet determined how much of the $2.2 billion in aid to Israel is to be given as a gift. The President can grant up to $1.5 billion of the total sum and nearly all of the remaining $700 million in loans.
Dayan later today discussed the matters, it was understood, with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee at the invitation of its chairman. Sen. John Stennis (D.Miss.). He is not scheduled to have any additional official or public meetings before his return to Israel tomorrow.
Yesterday on NBC-TV “Meet The Press” program Dayan said “no” in response to a direct question whether he has “accomplished something” on this five-day trip to Washington that included two sessions with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. These were concerned primarily with the projected Israeli and Syrian negotiations on the Golan Heights.
Delivering Israel’s proposals to Kissinger for disengagement, Dayan said, was “the first step” in that process. He said that “we expect the State Department to be a kind of a mediator between us and the Syrians” but in the meeting with Schlesinger, Dayan added he would “discuss relations and arms supply” between the United States and Israel and that “will be a direct negotiation.” (By Joseph Polakoff)
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