WASHINGTON (Mar. 31)
The United States Ambassadors to Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Israel have been summoned to Washington this week for a high level conference on American Middle East policy, the State Department announced today. The envoys will meet with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger at the State Department to examine U.S. positions before Kissinger flies to Palm Springs, California late Thursday for a meeting with vacationing President Ford.
Kissinger’s talks with Ford will cover America’s position in Vietnam as well as the Middle East. The President will address the nation on foreign affairs on or about April 9, it was learned today.
“The reassessment is underway.” State Department spokesman Robert Anderson told newsmen today with regard to the recall of the U.S. Middle East ambassadors. He said the review would be conducted “in the normal way by the National Security Council machinery” and that all agencies involved in the Middle East will be participating.
Anderson praised Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s speech to the Egyptian Parliament last Saturday as “statesmanlike and restrained” but said he did not wish to go into details. Sadat announced in his speech that the Suez Canal would be re-opened on June 5 and that Egypt would agree to a three-month extension of the mandate of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in Sinai after it expires next month.
Anderson said, in reply to a question, that he was not aware of any communications with regard to convening the Geneva peace conference. Kissinger breakfasted with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin at the State Department on Saturday. They discussed the Middle East but Anderson would not say whether the Geneva conference was a subject of their talk, Kissinger said at his press conference last Wednesday that he would meet with the Soviet Union “soon” to discuss resumption of the Geneva conference, (By Joseph Polakoff)