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Rumsfeld Denies Erosion of U.S. Commitment to Israel’s Survival

MAY 6

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld denied yesterday that the Ford Administration has changed its Middle East policy or that it has lessened its commitment to the security and survival of Israel.

“The President’s goal in the Middle East is one of peace and stability.” Rumsfeld said in reply to a question at the annual luncheon of the American Newspaper Publishers Association. “That has been our policy that remains our policy and I guess it will into the future. President Ford has been attempting to see to the extent to which improved relationships with countries like Egypt can help the goal of peace in the Middle East and the security and survival of Israel.”

Earlier this week at the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting in Washington. both Rumsfeld’s predecessor as Defense Secretary. James Schlesinger and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D.Minn.) charged that the Administration’s support for Israel was eroding.

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