WASHINGTON (Nov. 24)
President Ford and Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger “expressed strong support for the effective Job” Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan “has been doing representing the United States at the United Nations” and have “encouraged” him “to continue to speak out candidly and forcefully on major issues coming before the UN,” the White House said today. The statement was read to reporters by White House Press Secretary Ron Nessen following a meeting between Moynihan and Ford who were joined for about 10 minutes by Kissinger.
The strong endorsement of Moynihan by Ford and Kissinger put to rest rumors that the Administration was unhappy with the U.S. envoy’s outspokenness in the General Assembly, especially, on Middle East issues, and that Moynihan intended to resign. Those rumors came to a head last week when the British UN Ambassador, Ivor Richard, sharply criticized Moynihan without mentioning him by name, allegedly for using the UN as a “confrontational area” to assail countries whose political systems or ideologies he disliked.
Moynihan was one of the most vociferous critics of the Third World countries that voted for or abstained on the anti-Zionist resolution adopted by the General Assembly Nov. 10. Earlier, Moynihan called President Idi Amin of Uganda a “racist murderer” after Amin, who is currently chairman of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), called for the extinction of Israel as a state.
MOYNIHAN HAS FORD’S ‘COMPLETE CONFIDENCE’
Richard’s attack on Moynihan was believed in some quarters to have been approved, if not inspired by State Department elements believed anxious to have Moynihan resign after less than five months in office There were reports that the 48-year-old former Ambassador to India and former Harvard professor was about to submit his resignation last Friday.
Nessen would not say what prompted the President’s meeting with Moynihan this morning except that it was by mutual agreement. He did say there was “no communication” from Moynihan to the President. The UN envoy was not accompanied by any other members of the U.S. UN Mission when he visited the White House. The White House statement said “a range of matters involving the UN” was discussed and that “the President wants it clearly understood that Ambassador Moynihan has his complete confidence.”