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Eagleton Says U.S. Diplomat Slain in Khartoum Because He Was Trying to Begin Sudan-israel Dialogue

Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton (D. Mo.) said here that “There is evidence” that George C. Moore, one of the two American diplomats murdered by Black September terrorists in Khartoum, Sudan March 1, “was actively engaged in efforts to begin a dialogue between Sudan and Israel through the United States.” Eagleton, who was Sen. George McGovern’s original running mate in the 1972 Presidential election campaign, made that remark in the course of an address at the Leadership Dinner of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston last week.

(A spokesman for Sen. Eagleton’s Washington office told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the reference was based on appraisals by political analysts following the murder of Mr. Moore who was the Charged d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and had served there for two years at the time of his death. The other diplomats murdered by the Black Septembrists were the U.S. Ambassador Cleo A. Noel Jr. and the Belgian Charge d’Affaires, Guy Eid.)

Eagleton said he did not believe “that the attack on “our diplomats in the Sudan was simply a question of their taking advantage of an opportunity. It was a well-planned attack and it was designed to interfere with a dialogue that might eventually lead to peace negotiations in the Middle East,” he said.

The Senator described Moore, 47, as “an outgoing man who believed that the widest gulfs between nations could be bridged by good humor and dialogue.” He said that Moore had “made great strides in transforming American-Sudanese relations from nearly complete estrangement at the time of his arrival to an almost cordial relationship when he died. There is evidence that Mr. Moore was actively engaged in efforts to begin a dialogue between Sudan and Israel through the United States.”

Eagleton, one of the co-sponsors of the Jackson amendment, told his audience that “Congress will stand behind the position that it will not authorize most favored nation trade status to the Soviet Union unless that country permits its Jewish citizens to emigrate.” He said that while he supported “the concept of lowering East West trade barriers, I do not believe that the United States can ignore the continued oppression of fundamental human rights….Our government must act to prevent the Soviet Union from transforming human suffering into economic gain.”