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Palestinian State Dismissed

State Department sources today dismissed a report from Washington published in Israel that the United States had rejected a Palestinian state on the West Bank of the Jordan River. “This is not a story for us,” and “the reason is not particularly startling,” a high source told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “The United States has never said it favors a Palestinian state,” the source said. “This does not preclude a formula for possible other means for the Palestinians. Nothing is stuck in concrete.”

“We are going to discuss bilaterally with all the parties further diplomatic steps toward a negotiated settlement in the Middle East,” another source said. “We are doing that through diplomatic channels. These are not public discussions. Therefore, we will have no comment on speculative reports that may appear in the meantime.”

A Washington dispatch in the Jerusalem Post said that the U.S. has informed Israel that it has no interest in seeing a separate Palestinian state on the West Bank since it would doubtlessly become a Soviet-oriented area in a region which the U.S. wants to remain pro-Western. This report followed Friday’s meeting between Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz.

The JTA was told at the State Department that probable Soviet influence is a factor in U.S. thinking regarding a Palestinian state. But a well-placed official indicated that this is not the major one. More important reasons, he said, are the nature of the Palestinian movement and its terrorist elements in its attitude towards Jordan and Israel and the views of these two countries, both friends of the U.S., toward the Palestinian movement.

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