WASHINGTON (Aug. 23)
Secretary of State-designate Dr. Henry A. Kissinger told reporters today that he will conduct U.S. foreign policy “regardless of religious and national heritage.” Dr. Kissinger made the remark at a press conference in San Clemente, California, when asked by a reporter how he would put to rest Arab feelings over his conduct of American foreign policy in light of his background and family heritage.
Dr. Kissinger, the first Jew and the first foreign-born citizen in U.S. history to be nominated Secretary of State, replied, “I am asked to conduct the foreign policy of the United States and I will conduct the foreign policy of the United States regardless of family heritage.” He added, “There is no other country in the world in which a man of my background could even be considered for an office such as the one to which I have been nominated. That imposes upon me a very grave responsibility which I will pursue in the national interest.”
Referring briefly to the Middle East, he said that President Nixon has repeatedly stated that the Middle East is an important area and perhaps the most dangerous area “and I will pursue under the President’s direction those policies which he considers necessary.”