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No Interim Agreement Possible Without Change in Egypt’s Position, Rabin Says

June 13, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin made it plain today after the close of his talks with President Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger that unless there is a change in the Egyptian position from last March no interim agreement is possible between Israel and Egypt.

His comments to newsmen at Blair House came less than two hours after Kissinger told reporters at the White House that a “parallel approach” by Egypt and Israel was a prerequisite for a resumption of his efforts for a second-stage agreement. Rabin said he agreed with this approach saying “we need parallelism on the part of the two sides, then it will be possible to make a judgement.” He stressed that since Israel is working through the United States for an interim agreement it will be up to the Americans to make this judgement.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Rabin said, “that Egypt which talks so much of peace refuses to have any direct talks with Israel. This reluctance of talks such as at kilometer 101 (that resulted in the first interim agreement) has not facilitated a move forward towards an interim agreement.”


Rabin said there were basically two options, “either an interim agreement with Egypt or an overall settlement (at the Geneva conference) in which all problems can be solved at once. You cannot mix the two. The essence of an interim agreement is to create a period of several years in which the area will be relaxed and forces will establish themselves in peaceful ways and discuss an overall settlement.” Rabin said this has been explained to Ford, Kissinger and others. He said that if the negotiations go to Geneva, Israel will put all of her positions related to peace on the table. But, he warned, if such a meeting is not well prepared, he doubted that it will be anything different from a United Nations General Assembly session.

Asked about the shipment of cargo through the Suez Canal, Rabin declined to answer the question directly, but he emphasized that “Israel assumes any agreement has to be carried out in all its parts before a new agreement can be made.”


Strongly defending Israel’s willingness to adapt its position toward agreements on the road to peace, Rabin stressed that “for us the essence of an interim agreement is a step towards peace. It has never been tried in the past. All efforts for eight years since the 1967 war to bring about an overall settlement have failed, Israel’s flexibility was shown by its taking a risk, by giving something for a change in attitude which is essential if real peace is to be achieved.”

Rabin flatly refused to deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization and indicated Israel will not permit the PLO to participate in the Geneva conference. He pointed out that the UN Secretary General’s letter setting up the conference said that any additional country or body that might participate requires the agreement of the original six participants. He said President Ford has shown “great understanding” of Israel’s economic and military needs and he declared that he has “no doubts the problems of Israel’s security will find proper solutions at the proper time.”

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