WASHINGTON (Dec. 9)
Secretary of State William P. Rogers enunciated tonight the Nixon Administration’s most comprehensive and specific statement of Middle East policy which reiterated the United States position on Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and phrased for the first time a settlement envisaging a Jordanian role in the future of Jerusalem.
(A full report of the Rogers speech will be carried in tomorrow’s JTA Daily News Bulletin.)
Emphasis also was given to the need for a settlement taking into account the “desires and aspirations of the (Arab) refugees. Mr. Rogers warned that the refugee problem would become more serious if not resolved because “there is a new consciousness among the young Palestinians.”
Mr. Rogers revealed, in his address before the 1969 Galaxy Conference on Adult Education here, that the U.S. was not putting emphasis on the Jordanian aspects of a settlement and the Big Four powers, meeting in New York City, had already begun such discussions. The Secretary stressed the need for Israeli withdrawal, citing the 1949 armistice boundaries in stating that “any changes in the pre-existing lines should not reflect the weight of conquest and should be confined to insubstantial alterations required for mutual security. We do not support expansionism. We believe troops must be withdrawn as the resolution provides.”
The Secretary’s most dramatic new stand came on Jerusalem. He recalled that the U.S. said it could not accept “unilateral” action on the final status of the city. He added, however, that “Jerusalem should be a unified city within which there would no longer be restrictions on the movement of persons and goods.” But he added, “there should be roles for both Israel and Jordan in the civic, economic and religious life of the city.”
State Department officials indicated that the U.S. stand as voiced tonight by Mr. Rogers, stressed that Israel would have to withdraw from most of the occupied territories but is entitled to practical security arrangements, although these arrangements might fall short of an actual peace treaty. The officials said Mr. Rogers spoke out because continuing violence was perpetuating a risk of Middle East conflict for the major powers.