MIDDLE EAST: Close to the Call in a Giant Poker Game

Nine months of laborious negotiations over a second-stage disengagement in Sinai have taught Egypt, Israel and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger one lesson. Gone is the euphoric mood of "guarded optimism" that surrounded negotiations at the outset and fathered fruitless hopes that a settlement was imminent. Last week as the talks intensified once again, the participants took extraordinary pains to deny rumors that the deal so long hoped for had been reached.

In Alexandria, after a visit to the summer home of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Editor William Randolph Hearst Jr....

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