Mr. Hafez Ismail, Egypt's top national security adviser, arrived in Washington on Thursday (Feb 22)?
GV Ismail surrounded by security men and officials at Washington Airport
SCU Ismail speaking to newsmen
QUESTION: "What is your position?"
ANSWER: "I have no comment. You have got to listen to Cairo and Tripoli about that."
QUESTION: "Can you tell us what you hope to accomplish in this visit to the United States?"
ANSWER: "That depends." (WALKS AWAY)
Initials ES. 1410 ES. 1415
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Background: Mr. Hafez Ismail, Egypt's top national security adviser, arrived in Washington on Thursday (Feb 22) for talks with President Nixon about the Middle East situation.
His visit coincided with an international storm over the destruction of a Libyan airliner by Israeli jets in Sinai.
It had been swiftly arranged by President Sadat of Egypt after the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. William Rogers, had said he would welcome a visit by a high level Egyptian official for discussions.
A State Department spokesman said there had been no move to cancel the visit because of the destruction of the airliner.
The United States has confined itself to expressions of sadness and regret over the incident but diplomatic observers say Washington -- Israel's chief supporter -- is considerably embarrassed.
Mr. Ismail has already visited Moscow and London for similar talks. It's part of an Egyptian diplomatic drive involving the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, The People's Republic of China and France.
On arrival, Mr. Ismail was loathe to answer reporters' questions.