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Mrs. Meir, Kissinger in Contact

October 10, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The State Department disclosed today that Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has been in contact with Premier Golda Meir of Israel since the new Middle East war broke out last Saturday but declined to say when their contact took place or the nature of their discussion. According to Department spokesman Robert McCloskey the contact was at the initiative of Premier Meir.

McCloskey declined to comment “at the present time” when asked if the U.S. had urged Israel last Friday night not to carry out a pre-emptive strike against Egypt and Syria. Commenting on the military situation, he said all indications were that the fighting is escalating. Another State Department source observed, “It is fair to say that as it stands at present, no decisive turns in favor of one side or the other have been reached.”

Department sources, asked if Israel’s position has weakened in the last 24 hours, said that was difficult to answer at this time. McCloskey declined to comment when asked if the U.S. would replace Israeli aircraft losses. The State Department spokesman also said he had “no wish to comment” on Israel’s bombing of Damascus today. He said reports he had seen were that the targets were military but there have been press accounts that civilians were hurt and killed. He said he hoped that both sides would refrain from attacking civilian centers.

McCloskey commented on the difficulties encountered in convening the UN Security Council on the Mideast war. He said there was an evident lack of interest among other countries to join the debate in important ways. He said that neither Israel nor Egypt is opposing the Security Council meeting but no one has introduced any proposals as yet.

Asked if the U.S. position was for the parties to return to the cease-fire lines, McCloskey said that UN Ambassador John Scali’s statement to the Security Council last night “was carefully drafted.” He said “We recognized in doing so certain questions might arise. Our approach is more general than specific. We won’t offer any specific resolution that might be vetoed or fail to gain a majority in the Security Council.”

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