WASHINGTON (Aug. 26)
A bi-partisan group of eleven Senators and thirty Congressmen yesterday congratulated President Nixon on the United States peace initiative in the Middle East and urged vigilance to ensure that the present hope does not turn into despair. The group said in a letter to Mr. Nixon that the “American diplomatic initiative has offered hope for negotiations that could lead to a just and peaceful settlement” between Israel and the Arab countries. Signers of the letter comprise the Middle East Committee of the members of Congress for Peace Through Law, an informal body of liberal Senators and Representatives in the Republican and Democratic parties. The signers included Rep. F. Bradford Morse, Massachusetts, the group’s chairman; Senators Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon. and Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts, both Republicans, and Senators George S. McGovern of South Dakota, Frank Church of Idaho, Fred R. Harris of Oklahoma and William Proxmire of Wisconsin, all Democrats. Pointing out that “We recognize the serious risks involved in the standstill cease-fire,” the letter added: “If either side uses this time to build up additional sophisticated military installations. the hope of the present can erode into despair and an even more dangerous situation in the future could result. Therefore, the United Nations and the two major powers must exercise vigilance and take all steps necessary to ensure that this does not occur.” Israel has accused Egypt of moving forward anti-aircraft missiles in the Suez Canal zone since the cease-fire standstill went into effect August 7, but the letter did not specifically mention the accusations.