TEL AVIV (Jul. 6)
Israel’s Transport Minister Shimon Peres, who is said to favor a written Israeli-American friendship agreement, said last night that the United States must play a role in enabling the people of the Middle East to negotiate their mutual problems and to prevent the region’s becoming an extension of the “Brezhnev Doctrine.” Speaking at the traditional American Independence Day celebration at headquarters of the Zionist Organization of America, Peres declared: “We do not look to America to save us, nor to fight in our place. We do not seek American dependency so as to balance a Russian dependency (in Egypt). But America must play a role in this region.” He explained that both the U.S. and Israel faced the same challenge in the Mideast and were equally determined to repel aggression there, Walworth Barbour, who was hailed at the celebration for strengthening Israeli-American friendship in his decade as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, stressed that the two nations agreed on the main goal of peace, though they differed on tactics. He contended that despite press reports, there has never been a dark moment in Washington-Jerusalem relations.