WASHINGTON (Dec. 5)
A State Department spokesman indicated today that the Rogers Plan is still U.S. policy in the Middle East. George Vest made that point at today’s press briefing when he was asked if U.S. policy on the status of Jerusalem had changed as a result of the Arab oil embargo. The question referred to a statement yesterday by the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister, Ahmed Zaki Yamani who was in New York, that oil production would be restored to its Sept. levels if Israel withdraws from all of the occupied Arab territories including Jerusalem.
Vest said in reply that there was no basic change in American policy. He said U.S. policy remained the same as it was in Dec, 1969 when former Secretary of State William P. Rogers enunciated his plan which called for insubstantial changes in Israel’s pre-June. 1967 borders and the internationalization of Jerusalem.
The Rogers Plan, vehemently rejected by Israel, was never officially disavowed here, but has rarely been mentioned in recent years in connection with U.S. Middle East policy. High-ranking Israeli officials believed–and have said so publicly–that the Rogers Plan was no longer operative. The plan has always been supported by Sen. J. William Fulbright (D.Ark.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is working closely with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger on foreign policy, especially the Middle East and the Soviet Union.