WASHINGTON (Feb. 10)
Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D., Wash.) today described President Nixon’s view of the Middle East in his foreign policy report as his “third annual admission that American policy has failed to counter the increasing Soviet build-up in that strategic area. It is highly significant that, for the first time, the United States government has faced up to the fact that the Soviet Union is responsible for the failure of American efforts to reach some general understanding on the basic conditions of stability in the Middle East,” Jackson said in a statement.
Nixon’s report, he said, also acknowledges “for the first time” that Soviet personnel were directly involved in violations of the standstill agreement of Aug. 7, 1970. It also acknowledges, Jackson continued, that the Soviet Union has sought to use the Arab-Israeli conflict to obtain naval and air facilities in Egypt.
President Nixon, in his third annual State of the World message to Congress yesterday called on the Soviet Union to restrain its deliveries of arms to its Middle East allies, cease exploiting the Arab-Israeli conflict for its own advantage, and to help in negotiating a peace settlement.
Jackson declared the Middle East section of the President’s report was “written, not on the seventh floor of the State Department, but in the west wing of the White House” and added: “This shift in Middle East geography is most welcome.” The seventh floor is the location of Secretary of State William P. Rogers’ office. Dr. Henry Kissinger, the President’s advisor on National Security Affairs, is credited by qualified observers as being the chief author of the foreign policy report.
But in response to a query from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency specifically on the Middle East section of it, Dr. Kissinger said he would not comment on who contributed to it. Kissinger told newsmen the report was based on drafts from various departments of government which the President read, gave “suggestions and then the final product” emerged.
Asked by the JTA today whether the tone and the content of the Middle East section of Nixon’s foreign policy report to Congress were basically the same as the State Department’s presentation to the White House for that report, Department spokesman Charles Bray replied, “Absolutely.” The question was asked at today’s State Department briefing for newsmen.