Dr. Kissinger: Mideast Situation Must Be Viewed in Terms of Great Power Rivalries

Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s advisor on national security affairs, said today that the US viewed the Middle East situation from the perspectives of “the local rivalries and the great power confrontations that may be involved” and that American policy was that “neither side gets a unilateral advantage.” That, he said, “is the way we would look at a comprehensive settlement.”

Dr. Kissinger made these observations in reply to questions by newsmen at a White House press conference this morning following the release of the text of the President’s annual foreign policy report to Congress.

He said Nixon’s report was designed to explain “to the American people and to other countries what we think of international affairs.” Dr. Kissinger observed that not every problem has an immediate solution. He noted that a “solution of the tensions in the Middle East must take account of the presence of outside forces,” a reference to the Soviet deployment in Egypt and its naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. He added, however, that if an agreement is achieved in the area, the “presence of Soviet forces would appear in a different light.”

NEW CONSTRUCTION OF SOVIET MISSILE SITES

Dr. Kissinger said the Soviet presence in the Mediterranean goes “beyond the present exigencies of the Middle East.” The Soviet forces, he added, go beyond the local situation and need consideration in any settlement. But the Presidential adviser stressed that these views were not new and had been expressed before. As to the Soviet deployment in Egypt, Dr. Kissinger said in response to questions that there appeared to be new construction of Soviet missile sites facing Israeli forces across the Suez Canal.

“We don’t know exactly what they are deploying there but there is evidence of construction different than before,” he said. He explained that this would indicate that the missiles being placed are not of the same character as previously. Dr. Kissinger said that Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird would elucidate on the subject in a separate report supplemental to the President’s message.

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