WASHINGTON (Dec. 21)
Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s top adviser on international affairs, has reportedly disclosed that the President is deeply disappointed and pessimistic over the chances of a peaceful Middle East settlement as the year ends. It was learned that Dr. Kissinger told a selected group of journalists that the President was disappointed most, after a year in office, over his failure to obtain peace in the Middle East and Vietnam but was more discouraged about the Middle
East than about Southeast Asia. Dr. Kissinger reportedly said the President placed most of the blame for the continuing Arab-Israel violence on the “unyielding attitude” of Soviet Russia. Nevertheless, the President is still striving to replace confrontation with negotiation, Dr. Kissinger reportedly said. He was quoted as saying that the passions of the Arab states and Israel have dampened hopes that the Big Four can resolve the Mideast crisis.
The Presidential adviser reportedly said that Mr. Nixon remains hopeful of making progress toward a settlement in 1970. The U.S.-Soviet bilateral discussions have increased each nation’s understanding of the other’s position, and have thus reduced the chances of an American-Soviet embroilment that could lead to a nuclear war. But after eight months of intensive negotiations, the Administration felt it could not claim that Mideast tensions have been reduced of a major war averted. Dr. Kissinger was quoted as saying.