WASHINGTON (Nov. 3)
President Ford has firmly reaffirmed opposition to Palestinian participation in the Middle East peace negotiations until they recognize the State of Israel and has repeated his condemnation of the anti-Zionist resolution adopted by the United Nations Third Committee.
In a news conference taped yesterday in Jacksonville, Fla. with reporters from Florida television stations and being broadcast tonight, Ford was asked his view about the attacks in the UN on Zionism as a form of racism by a reporter who also noted that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat has made “similar allegations.”
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT RESOLUTION’S DEFEAT
Ford, who had met with Sadat in Jacksonville yesterday, did not mention the Egyptian President, but said, “We are doing all we can possibly do in the United Nations to defeat the resolution” which will be brought up before the General Assembly. He added that. “I am getting more and more optimistic that the possibility does exist” to defeat the resolution because “it is fundamentally contrary to the United Nations Charter.”
“What we will do if we lose,” Ford said, “is a matter that I will pass judgement on at that time. But I think on sober reflection that a majority of the members of the United Nations will recognize that that is not in consonance with the Charter of the United Nations.”
Regarding the participation of the Palestinians in Mideast negotiations, a subject that was discussed last week by Sadat and Ford during which Sadat urged Ford to change his view, the American chief executive said:
“These Palestinians do allege that they have certain rights, and they are insisting on participation, for example, at a Geneva conference or any overall conference. But they have refused to recognize the State of Israel, and we, of course, strongly back the State of Israel in its attitude that there must be recognition before there can be any contacts or any participation by the Palestinians in any negotiations.”
A reporter asked whether, if recognition was forthcoming, land could be found to create a Palestinian state. The President replied, “that of course would have to be decided in any overall settlement.” He also said that “the parties who will actually do the negotiating are those parties within the area in an overall settlement, and it would certainly be inappropriate for me, under these circumstances, to make any commitment. That is for them to negotiate.” The Palestine Liberation Organization was not mentioned at the news conference.
NO FEAR FOR U.S. PERSONNEL
The President said that he did not fear for the civilian technicians who will monitor stations in the Sinai because “I can’t imagine any actions taken by either Egypt or Israel that would jeopardize the Americans in that United Nations zone.”
Ford confirmed that negotiations are taking place between the United States and Egypt for “an American-made nuclear power facility” but he said the negotiations “have not at this point reached a final decision.” He said that should the decision be made to provide Egypt with a nuclear capability “we would insist under any and all cir- cumstances, as we have in the past,” to establish “very rigid safeguards” that would “make it impossible to go from a civilian domestic utilization of a reactor to a military utilization.” The State Department said, today that American and Egyptian technicians have begun discussion on the agreement to provide Egypt with two nuclear reactors.