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Kissinger; Israel Will Be Consulted First if U.S. Should Decide to Change Its Policy Toward the PLO

Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger reaffirmed today that the U.S. has not altered its position toward the Palestine Liberation Organization and stressed that no change would be made in any case before “the fullest consultation with Israel.”

Kissinger, appearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made that statement when asked by Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D.Minn) to explain why Israel was disturbed by the statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Harold Saunders before a House subcommittee last week which some Israeli circles saw as a softening of the American stand toward the PLO.

Kissinger replied that he has repeated “innumerable times that the U.S. will not consider dealing with the PLO until it recognizes Israel and UN resolutions” 242 and 338. “If we change it, it won’t be announced by a Deputy Assistant Secretary before a Congressional subcommittee. It would be on the level of the President or the Secretary of State and after the fullest consultation with Israel.”