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Scott, in Apparent Shift in Emphasis, Views Rogers Plan As Step in Mideast Peace

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Sen. Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, believes the Nixon administration is on the right track in its pursuit of a peace settlement in the Middle East. In remarks prepared for delivery at commencement exercises at Dropsie University in Philadelphia tomorrow, the Republican Senate Minority Leader assures Israel of continued U.S. military and economic aid. But in an apparent shift in emphasis from previous statements, the Senator seems to be endorsing the Rogers Plan which, he stresses, is administration policy. He refers to Secretary of State William P.Rogers’closed meeting in April with 67 Senators of both parties, a meeting which, he recalls, was requested by Senators Henry M. Jackson, Democrat of Washington; Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican; and Abraham A. Ribicoff, Connecticut Democrat and himself to clarify American Mideast policy. At that meeting, Scott states in his Dropsie speech, Rogers “gave us all a clear cut, candid view that dispelled much of the misunderstanding and controversy that had arisen about the administration’s Middle East policy.” Continuing, Scott declares: “I think it will be useful for me to mention some of the cardinal points which lie behind the efforts he (Rogers) has been making to achieve a comprehensive peace settlement. Let me add that though this has become known as the Rogers Plan, it is the policy of the administration ably spearheaded by the Secretary of State.” One of the cardinal points Scott attributes to Rogers’ policy is that America’s goal is a “real peace” that must incorporate effective security arrangements and international guarantees.

Scott, who in the past has been strongly critical of international guarantees as a substitute for a real peace settlement, declares the U.S. was not advocating that Israel commit itself to withdrawal prior to a peace treaty or to commit itself to withdrawal prior to an agreement on security arrangements relating to Sharm el-Sheikh and the border zones. Scott feels certain that the parties to the conflict could reach such agreements and maintains that direct negotiations would have to be held at some stage in the process. Scott emphasizes in his prepared remarks that only Resolution 242 of the Security Council can contribute the proper framework for a peace settlement. He states the U.S. considers that “no just and lasting peace can rest on major transfers of territory.” The latter remark appears to be a transposition of Rogers’ assertion that the U.S. favored only minor boundary adjustments in a final peace settlement. Scott observes that Rogers’ recent visit to the Middle East had “broad significance” for the quest for peace. He notes that the Rogers trip illustrated America’s continued involvement and interest in a Mideast peace settlement and sought to urge both sides “to take as positive a position as possible.” “I heartily subscribe to that philosophy which says that one gains hope most by offering some to the other fellow,” Scott contends. “The process of testing intentions begins with such a test of hope and this is how I understand the proposition to reopen the Suez Canal.” Scott maintains that an interim settlement on Suez would further the movement toward a broader peace settlement.

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