Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban expressed optimism about Syrian-Israeli disengagement talks following a meeting with United States Secretary of State Dr.
SV Eban out of car with Kissinger and entering State Department.
SV Eban talking to newsmen.
SV Eban and Kissinger walk away from microphones.
GV INT. Eban at news conference.
CU Eban speaking.
GV Eban addressing newsmen.
COMMENTARY: "There is though to be a very wide gap between the Israelis and Syrians on the subject of disengagement. Today's talks are preliminary to others which will be held next week between Kissinger and presumably Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dyan. After the meeting, both Eban and Kissinger described their talks as 'constructive'; Eban saying the most urgent problem discussed was how to get into negotiations with Syria. Later in the day Mr. Eban spoke at a news conference where he was asked what was holding up those negotiations."
EBAN: "Now it's obvious that neither party accepts the plan put forward by the other party but there was this hopeful result -- that the dialogue was not cut short. I understand that both Israel and Syria agreed to pursue the dialogue by dispatching qualified senior representatives sometime during the month of March, who would carry the discussion further. So I don't believe there's been any protracted delay and if there has been delay for some weeks it was because the delay was imposed by the failure to act on the question of the prisoners of war".
COMMENTARY: "The 65 prisoners held by the Syrians are extremely important to the Syrian position since that country has no occupied Israeli territory to bargain with. On the subject of dividing the city of Jerusalem, Eban said there was no justification for the division of any city. This is Larry Doyle at the State Department."
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Background: Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban expressed optimism about Syrian-Israeli disengagement talks following a meeting with United States Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger in Washington on Friday (15 March). The talks between the Middle East neighbours are expected to begin in Washington later this month.
Mr. Eban told newsmen after his talks with Dr. Kissinger -- which both described as 'constructive' -- that neither Israel nor Syria had so far accepted the other's plans. But he said he was optimistic because the dialogue had not been cut short, and he understood both sides had agreed to send senior representatives to Washington for the disengagement talks.
This production includes a sound-on-film commentary and Abba Eban's statement to newsmen, a transcript of which follows. A written script alternative to the reporter's commentary can be found overpage.