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Kissinger’s Middle East Trip Set by Joseph Polakoff. JTA Washington Bureau Chief

December 5, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The State Department, demonstrating confidence that the Arab-Israeli peace conference will open Dec. 18 in Geneva despite Indications to the contrary in some Arab capitals including Cairo. today formally announced Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s schedule of visits to six Middle Eastern countries in the five days before the parley opens. Kissinger, who will be in Brussels Dec. 10 and 11 for talks with NATO foreign ministers and in London on the following day, is to visit Egypt Dec. 13-14, Saudi Arabia Dec. 14-15, Syria and Jordan Dec. 15-16, Lebanon Dec. 16 and Israel Dec. 16-17. The purpose of Kissinger’s Mideast visit, his second in less than six weeks, is to bring his “ideas” and the views of other parties in the Middle East to the attention of the national leaders he will meet, a high American official said. He vigorously denied that Kissinger will take “a package deal” to the Middle East since, he emphasized, the U.S. has no plan for a settlement. Kissinger’s visit to Damascus is considered of major significance since only last month it refused to allow him or Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco to visit the Syrian capital. U.S. officials reported that they expect that the Egyptian-Israeli talks at Kilometer 101 will resume towards the end of this week.

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