WASHINGTON (Feb. 24)
A top State Department Middle East expert said yesterday that the U.S. was not considering a defense treaty to guarantee Israel’s survival but that any study given to such guarantee would be in the context of an overall political settlement and as supplementary and complementary to the agreement itself. Joseph J. Sisco. Undersecretary of State, who stated this in an interview on NBCTV’s “Meet the Press,” added that the basic assurance essential in the Mideast was an actual agreement between Israel and her neighbors.
Sisco, who accompanied Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger on his recent Mideast trip, said he was guardedly optimistic about Mideast negotiation prospects “because we are beginning to see the parameters of this problem,” stated that Kissinger had made progress in defining and developing the framework for negotiation on a next possible step, and asserted that Israel’s desire for peace and Egypt’s desire for withdrawal of Israeli forces in the Sinai could be reconciled.
Sisco stated that no Mideast peace was possible in the long run without the cooperation of the Soviet Union and affirmed that the U.S. was not trying to exclude the USSR. He also said that the U.S. had made it clear that it could not recommend Israel negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization as long as the PLO failed to recognize the existence of the State of Israel. “I see no evidence that the PLO has any intention to do so in the foreseeable future,” he said.
JAVITS: ISRAEL SHOULD JOIN NATO
Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY), interviewed yesterday on CBS-radio “Newsmakers” program, suggested that Israel join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) once a peace agreement has been achieved between Israel and the Arab states. He said that incorporating Israel into NATO and “making it an addition to NATO’s responsibilities,” would be one way of assuring peace. This way, he added, would be better than a U.S.-Soviet agreement on the Mideast.
Javits noted that Israel, “surrounded by a sea of Arabs,” needs the pressure of many nations to guarantee her security. He said he believed that Israel’s membership in NATO would serve the interests of those nations because Europe depended heavily on Arab oil.