UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 19)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger said here last night that the United States would “spare no effort” to achieve an agreement between Israel and Syria and expressed hope that the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observers Force. (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights will be extended when it expires Nov. 30.
Kissinger also stressed, at an impromptu press conference at UN headquarters after conferring with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, that U.S. policy toward the Palestine Liberation Organization has not changed. He said the U.S. was “prepared to move on to Geneva” in pursuit of a Mideast peace settlement but ruled out PLO participation in the Geneva conference.
His re-affirmation of American policy toward the PLO came in the wake of expressions of concern in some Israeli circles that the U.S. might be softening its position on the PLO in order to induce President Hafez Assad of Syria to agree to extend the UNDOF mandate and to move toward interim negotiations with Israel. Assad has repeatedly stated that he would make no more political moves as long as the Palestinian problem is not dealt with.
But asked by a reporter last night if there was any shift in U.S. policy on the PLO, Kissinger replied, “some people don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
WILL REPLY SOON TO SOVIET NOTE
Asked if the U.S. would “move on to Geneva” in accordance with a recent Soviet note calling for reconvening the conference, Kissinger said “Not in accordance with the Soviet note. But we are prepared to move on to Geneva and we will be soon replying to the Soviet note with our proposals as to how the conference can be reconstituted.” The U.S. and the Soviet Union are co-chairmen of the Geneva conference which opened briefly in December, 1973 and has been in adjournment since then.
Kissinger met with Waldheim who leaves for the Middle East Friday instead of Thursday as originally scheduled to try to persuade the Syrians to agree to extend the UNDOF mandate, Kissinger told reporters that he had expressed to Waldheim his view that the General Assembly’s anti-Zionist resolution “made the position of several of the member states which supported it more difficult vis-a-vis the (American) Congress.” He added, “Of course you know our views, which are violently opposed to this resolution.”