JERUSALEM (Jun. 17)
President Nixon left Israel for Jordan today after an historic 25 hour visit leaving behind assurances of continued United States support of Israel in his and future United States Administrations, promises of long term military and economic aid and a recommendation to Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s new government to be flexible in the upcoming negotiations for a Middle East peace.
Nixon, the first American President to visit Israel, and Rabin issued a Joint statement in which Nixon confirmed the U.S. intention to provide Israel its much sought agreement for long-term and economic aid. Nixon also “reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to the long-term security of Israel, and to the principle that each state has the right to exist within secure borders and to pursue its own legitimate interests in peace.” As expected, the statement contained an announcement that the U.S. and Israel would “negotiate an agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.”
The three-page statement contained expressions of warm Israeli appreciation for American aid in the past and, the present. it hailed the Nixon visit as symbolizing “the unique relationship” between the two countries.
Nixon and Rabin condemned Arab terrorism. Rabin thanked Nixon “for his efforts to support the rights of free emigration for all peoples without harassment, including members of Jewish minorities.” Nixon promised “continued active support to these principles in all feasible ways.”
NIXON: ‘TWO WAYS OPEN’ FOR ISRAEL
Nixon’s assurances of continued American support of Israel came during a State Dinner given him by President Ephraim Katzir in the Knesset last night. Stressing that renewed American relations with the Arab states would not lessen U.S. support and friendship for Israel. Nixon asserted that American support of Israel was strong before he became President and will be strong “in the next administration whatever the outcome of the elections may be.”
The American President noted that Israel has “a new Premier whom I know well.” (Rabin was Israeli Ambassador in Washington for six years.) He then said that the new Rabin Cabinet has “two ways open. One is the way of status quo, the easy way of ‘don’t move, resist initiatives.’ The other one, the right one in my opinion, is the way of statesmanship, a way that will not endanger the State’s security–this must never be done–but the way of exploring every possible path toward peace.”
Nixon said that achieving peace in the Middle East will be even more difficult than ending the war in Viet Nam or the dialogues with Moscow and Peking, But he said the effort must be made so that “the cradle of civilization will not become its grave.”
During the course of the dinner, Nixon praised former Premier Golda Meir, who was one of the 300 dignitaries attending. He also noted the great contributions of Jews to the United States. He said that Dr. Henry A. Kissinger was not named as Secretary of State because he was Jewish but because “he was the best man for the Job and has proven to be the best man.”
DETAILS OF U.S. AID NOT MENTIONED
Katzir, in a toast to Nixon, declared that “A strong Israel is in itself a component of peace and stability in our area to which your mission is dedicated.” The Israeli President drew a parallel between his country and the U.S. noting that both are democracies built by immigrants as havens for the homeless and hopeless. He pointed to the common heritage of a pioneering spirit.
“The American people can surely grasp the meaning of our compulsion to create here, in the land of our heritage, a small place under the sun where we may live our own lives in freedom, according to our own needs, our own will and our own choice.” he said.
The joint statement by Nixon and Rabin avoided any details on military or economic aid, although Israel had hoped for an announcement of $1.5 billion in military aid annual for the next five years. Rabin expressed his appreciation for military aid “during and after the October war.” Nixon reiterated his view that the strengthening of Israel’s ability to defend itself is necessary to prevent further hostilities and to maintain conditions needed for progress toward peace. The concrete details will be worked out when an Israeli Defense Ministry delegation visits Washington.
U.S. WILL SELL REACTORS TO ISRAEL
Nixon and Rabin agreed to set up a permanent negotiating machinery on economic issues including “where appropriate, special bi-national committees.” The American government also promised to encourage American firms to invest in Israel.
On nuclear cooperation, the statement noted there would be negotiations for Israel to buy power reactors from the U.S. “As an immediate step, Israel and the U.S. will in the current month reach provisional agreement on the further sale of nuclear fuel to Israel.”
Rabin expressed Israel’s concern for guaranteed oil supplies and “Nixon proposed that U.S. and Israeli representatives meet soon in order to devise ways of meeting this problem.” The statement said that Nixon and Rabin discussed the problem of oppressed Jewish minorities and that Nixon promised to undertake “further active support” while Rabin thanked him for past efforts.
Stepped-up scientific cooperation, including space research, was promised in the statement. Plans were announced for the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra to visit the U.S. during the Bicentennial Celebration. Negotiations were envisioned to provide E1 A1 more landing rights in American cities.