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Reaction to Ford-hussein Statement: Israel Rejects Jordan’s Demand for Israeli Jordan River Withdraw

Israel has rejected and will reject the Jordanian demand for an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan River as part of what Jordan terms “disengagement of forces.” Reference to this subject in the statement by President Ford and King Hussein does not alter Israel’s stand. This was stated tonight by the Foreign Ministry in reaction to the Joint statement by Ford and Hussein issued today in Washington.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman, replying to questions by reporters on Israel’s reaction to the joint communique, said: “The government of Israel welcomes the declaration of the U.S. President that his government would persevere in its efforts for the attainment of a just and durable peace in our region. The President also emphasized the continuity of the American foreign policy on this subject, as on others.”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman noted that in the joint statement published in Jerusalem at the conclusion of his visit in Israel, President Nixon had reiterated the American commitments regarding Israel’s security and her right to exist within secure borders. “The government of Israel is prepared, as it has repeatedly declared, to strive for a peace settlement with Jordan. Israel, however, has rejected and will reject” the Jordanian demand for an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan River as part of what Jordan terms “disengagement of forces.”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman added: “Reference to this subject in the statement by President Ford and King Hussein does not alter Israel’s stand.

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