WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
Progress toward working out a formula to speed Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union linked to Congressional passage of the Nixon Administration’s Trade Reform Act was reported by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D., Wash.), after a breakfast meeting Thursday at the State Department.
The event marked resumption of talks between Kissinger and Senators Jackson, Abraham Ribicoff (D., Conn.), and Jacob Javits (R., N.Y.), on the linked issues. Jackson is the author of an amendment, which has widespread support in the Senate, to the trade measure which would ban most-favored-nations status to the Soviet Union until it permitted Jews and other Soviet citizens to emigrate without harassment.
Jackson made his comment after the two-hour meeting with Kissinger, which was attended by Ribicoff and Javits. Jackson said. “I think it is fair to say we have made progress.” Kissinger reportedly told the Senators that Soviet leaders had informed President Nixon, during the Moscow summit meeting last month, they were willing to work out an agreement which would not embarrass them.
Kissinger issued a statement after the meeting, declaring that “we had a very good and constructive breakfast meeting and definite progress was made on the trade bill issue.”
Jackson said. “The Russians want to do something but their biggest problem is ‘face.’ We have to find a way to improve emigration without the Russians losing face.” He added that the basic issue was not the number of Jews the Soviet Union is willing to allow to leave. He declared that “the heart of our problem is harassment and to work out an agreement on this issue, not just numbers.” He said he believed “we can resolve the numbers issue satisfactorily” but the “harassment is another matter.”