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U.S. Prepared to Discuss with USSR Reduction of Supply Efforts

October 25, 1973
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The United States is prepared to discuss with the Soviet Union a reduction of the current “emergency supply efforts” to the Middle East combatants but without affecting the “on-going” American assistance program to Israel, the State Department said today.

Such discussions were not “literally developed” and “no conclusions were reached” on this topic in the Soviet-American discussions in Moscow over the past weekend, State Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey said. He made his statements in response to questions based apparently on suggestions by media commentators that the superpowers impose arms embargoes both on the Arab states and Israel.

McCloskey said that both the U.S. and Soviet airlifts to the Middle East are “continuing” but suggested that these efforts should not be considered political decisions “at this time.” The ongoing U.S. program has been long established to provide Israel with equipment that would maintain the power balance in the Middle East regardless of who may supply weapons to Israel’s neighbors.

Asked if Soviet and American troops might participate in a peace-keeping force in the Middle East, McCloskey said that he could not see that happening “under present circumstances.” The State Department spokesman said also that an exchange of prisoners of war would be the first step once the-cease-fire takes hold firmly but indicated that nothing beyond that has jelled. Asked if the mission of Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring of Sweden would be resumed under UN auspices, McCloskey said he could not venture a prediction. “We are simply not at that point now,” he emphasized.

A group of 700 Jewish youths in Brussels raised two million Belgian francs for Israel over the weekend, it was announced today. The young people collected funds in six districts in the Brussels area to buy ambulances for Israel. The Mayors of the six districts will present the funds to the Israeli Ambassador in an official ceremony next week.

West Berlin police today discovered nearly five kilograms of high explosives in an apartment belonging to four Palestinians in the city. The men are being held in custody. They entered West Berlin after traveling from Beirut. The police have no evidence as yet that the four men have contacts in the Palestinian Liberation Organization office in East Berlin. One of the four said he had been given a suitcase containing the explosives by an unidentified man in Beirut.

The Knesset will convene again Thursday to pass a law postponing the elections probably till the end of December.

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