No Confirmation That American Pilot, Captured by Egyptians, Manned Phantom Jet for Israel

State Department spokesman Carl E. Bartch said today he had no information on reports that an American pilot manning a Phantom jet for Israel has been captured by Egypt. He added that he expected Cairo to inform Washington if the report is true. Asked to comment on Egyptian claims that there are 20,000 American military aides in Israel, Mr. Bartch referred newsmen to two administration statements of last winter. On Oct. 17, the State Department asserted that such reports were a “gross distortion” of United States policy, continuing: “These charges are without foundation and we totally reject them…Neither in Israel or anywhere else have such personnel played any operational role in foreign armed forces.” On Nov. 11, the State Department stated that it “strongly opposes such involvement by private Americans as contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States.” explaining that “such service can raise serious problems for our government in the conduct of its foreign relations.” The Nixon administration has reiterated in recent days that it has no plans to send American troops to the Middle East. Israel has never asked for them, and has said she does not want them. (In New York, a United Nations spokesman said there was as yet no official word on the reported capture of an American pilot by Egypt.)

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