WASHINGTON (Oct. 23)
The State Department referred yesterday to what it said was “the categorical denial” by the Israeli government of a U.S. promise of American petroleum supplies in return for further withdrawals from the Sinai Desert. But it would not outline the U.S. position on the reported arrangement. According to press reports, the U.S. had promised to compensate Israel in oil for what it is getting from the oil wells in the Sinai Desert. The Israeli government denied the report.
State Department spokesman Robert Anderson said a first that a government sometimes refers to another government’s report with which it concurs, but he later withdrew the word “concurs.” saying that he wants first to “check.” with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger who has had “numerous discussions” with the Israeli government in the past. “I want to make very sure that I am accurate,” Anderson said. He said that he had no reason to assume that the Israeli deal is not accurate but he emphasized that he wants to speak with Kissinger about it.
Anderson, questioned about reports of vastly increased military sales to Saudi Arabia, repeated that there was “no basis” no basis” for the reports which said that the arms would be in return for lower oil prices. He said a general survey of Saudi Arabia’s military requirements over the next years was being made by the Pentagon. Anderson had no comment on another report that the U.S. is to sell 36 Skyhawk warplanes to Kuwait, saying he has not seen the report.