While refraining from publicly agreeing to negotiate with Israel, Nasser allowed Egyptian offi cials to serve as interlocutors with Israeli and American emissaries. On June 17, former Treasury Secretary Robert Anderson told Walt Rostow that while he was in Beirut, Arab ministers collectively acknowledged their willingness to recognize Israel, though not publicly. Th ey agreed to a demilitarized Sinai but could not accept total Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Rusk and Rostow speculated that persuading the Arabs to end their state of belligerence could lead to recognition of Israel.1