NEW YORK (Apr. 22)
Theodore C. Sorensen disclosed Monday night that the Soviet Union may become “more lenient” toward Jewish emigration, but only after the settlement of the Middle East war. In a radio interview here, the Democratic state committee candidate for United States Senate said Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko had told him during his recent Moscow visit that the U.S. was to blame for the emigration impasse because of its alleged escalation of the Mideast conflict. Mr. Sorensen said the Minister was “resentful” of his bringing up the subject of emigration of Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities. Mr. Sorensen, who spoke at Moscow’s Institute of the U.S.A. on April 13, at the invitation of the Soviet Academy of Science, said in the radio interview he was “rather encouraged” by “one small ray of light” on the Mideast by Mr. Gromyko, who he said agreed to the possible “simultaneous” Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and its security against subsequent Arab attack. The Soviet Union has made Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite to peace.
Mr. Sorensen, former adviser to the late President Kennedy, said he would report on his Gromyko talk to top Presidential confidant Dr. Henry Kissinger. Cautioning that the Kremlin is not “mellowing” or getting “soft-hearted,:” he asserted that it nevertheless “recognizes the dangers of major-power confrontation in the Middle East, and they don’t want that.” The Kremlin, he reported, is wary of “irresponsible Arabs” forcing it to commit Russia to full-scale military action in the Mideast, and of having that area become the Soviets’ Vietnam. Mr. Sorensen repeated his recommendation that President Nixon “reconsider” his decision against immediate new plane sales to Israel to prevent “imbalance.” In his Moscow address, Mr. Sorensen had urged that emigration be permitted and was met by what he later called a negative response. He also called on the Russians to help seek a Meddle East peace, grant increased freedom of speech and agree to halt the arms race.