WASHINGTON (Sep. 9)
Secretary of State-designate Henry A. Kissinger will face renewed questioning on President Nixon’s Middle East policy and his views on its implementation when he appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tomorrow in the second round of its confirmation hearings.
Dr. Kissinger said, in his initial appearance before the Committee Friday that the U.S. “basic policy” towards Israel has not changed. There appeared to be a likelihood, however, that he will be subjected to some sharp questions by some Committee members regarding the Israel Labor Party’s recent endorsement of policies permitting unrestricted Jewish settlement and private land purchases in the administered territories and the expansion of Jerusalem into the adjacent territories. Sen. George McGovern (D.SD) told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he would question Dr. Kissinger further tomorrow on the Middle East and Soviet internal policies.
Dr. Kissinger told the Committee Friday that if confirmed by the Senate he will meet with Israeli and Arab diplomats at the United Nations General Assembly in New York soon after it opens Sept. 18. “to see what concrete steps can be taken” toward a negotiating process between them. He is also expected to meet with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to discuss the Middle East situation and will address the General Assembly.
Nixon, in his press conference last Wednesday said he had instructed Dr. Kissinger “to put the highest priority” on efforts to settle the Middle East deadlock. Dr. Kissinger has said that he hopes to visit the Middle East but no date has been set for such a visit.
(Observers in Jerusalem noted over the weekend that Kissinger may concentrate on getting negotiations started between Jerusalem and Cairo prior to any negotiations between Israel and other Arab states. They viewed the Jerusalem-Cairo approach as an aim in itself even if there are no practical results from this first phase of negotiations. Observers also expressed satisfaction with Kissinger’s statement that there has been no change in U.S. Mideast policy.)
SUPPORTS MOST FAVORED NATION STATUS
Dr. Kissinger told the Senate Committee Friday that although he is “emotionally connected” and personally “pained” by Soviet Jewish circumstances, he firmly supports granting most-favored-nation treatment in trade with the Soviet Union without insisting that the Soviet government relax restrictions on emigration.
The United States, he said, should not be dependent on changes in the “domestic structure” of another country in its foreign affairs. Adoption of such a principle, he said, would mean “we shall find ourselves massively engaged in all countries” and “constant American involvement everywhere.” He said granting trade benefits and credits represented the U.S. share of the Soviet-American trade agreement announced last Oct.
Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY), referring specifically to Nixon’s television news conference remarks Wednesday in which he linked the energy situation with the Middle East political conflict, asked whether “they represented any change towards Israel or to the Arab states.” Dr. Kissinger responded that the U.S. position is that “we cannot substitute for negotiations between the parties.” However, the United States, he said, “would be helpful if the parties move toward some accommodation” and the “President’s view is that both sides must move.”