Bush: Mideast Accord Still Possible

United States Ambassador George Bush said today that despite “discouraging public pronouncements” there was still an “opportunity” and a “chance” for a Middle East agreement. “It’s to nobody’s interest to have a shooting war in the part of the world,” he said at a press lunch in response to a question by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent. He had a “strong feeling,” he said, that despite “rigid” public statements there was a chance for “advancement” toward peace, but did not elaborate.

Bush told the JTA later that he totally rejected Israel’s denunciation of Secretary of State William P. Rogers’ General Assembly speech as essentially pro-Arab. He pointed out that Egypt has also criticized aspects of the speech. Replying to another question, Bush said it would be “some-what inaccurate” to contend that the US does not want a resumption of the stalled Big Four ambassadorial talks on the Mideast. There has been “no final determination out of Washington” on this matter, he said, and one could not say it opposed a resumption.

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