The Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin arrived in Washington on Tuesday (10 September) for five days of talks with U.
The Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin arrived in Washington on Tuesday (10 September) for five days of talks with U.S. Government leaders. Mr. Rabin is the first official foreign guest of the new Ford Administration.
President and Mrs. Ford were at the White House to welcome Mr. Rabin, and in an open-air speech, the President assured his guest of the United States' commitment to the security of Israel:
Mr. Rabin's trip to Washington was initially at the invitation of former President Nixon -- an invitation renewed by President Ford. Although the visit was scheduled to have taken place later in the year, it is thought that President Ford asked for the date to be moved forward to allay fears among American Jewry over the recent visits by several Arab leaders to the White House.
Security is high on the agenda for discussion between Mr. Rabin and U.S. officials, and the Prime Minister is thought to be asking for a long-term commitment from the United States to supply Israel with arms -- with the emphasis on quality and not quantity.
Replaying to President Ford's welcome at the White House, Mr. Rabin stressed Israel's desire for peace in the Middle East:
By the end of his visit, Mr. Rabin will have had talks not only with President Ford, but with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Defence Secretary James Schlesinger and Treasury Secretary William Simon.