Ford: U.S. Relations with Arab States Will Not Be at Expense of Special Relationship with Israel

President Ford has rejected allegations that he vetoed the foreign aid measure because it contained too much money for Israel and affirmed that “Our relations with the Arab states will not be pursued in my Administration at the expense of our special relationship with Israel.”

These statements were contained in a letter to Rep. William Broomfield (R.Mich.), a member of the House International Relations Committee, who had asked Ford to explain the reason for vetoing the foreign aid authorization bill which included $550 million in transitional quarter aid to Israel. Broomfield released the text of Ford’s letter to the Jewish News of Detroit last night while the two officials were there as part of the President’s campaign swing through Michigan, Ford’s letter stated:

“As you know, there have been incorrect reports that I used the veto because this bill contained too much money for Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that I vetoed the bill because it would undermine the President’s authority to conduct the decisive foreign policy that Israel, along with our other friends and allies rely upon.

“The bill would have imposed unwise and intolerable limits on my ability to conduct foreign policy. In today’s world, as during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, we can have only one foreign policy–that of the President.

“Our relations with the Arab states will not be pursued in my Administration at the expense of our special relationship with Israel. Indeed, I regret that my veto has delayed the funds that the Israelis need so urgently. As soon as the Congress sends me a bill, free of unacceptable restrictions, I will immediately sign it so the Israelis may receive these vital funds.”

A revised foreign aid authorization measure, which excludes some of the features Ford cited as objectionable in the measure he vetoed, was adopted Tuesday by the Senate Foreign Relations and the House International Relations Committee Congressional sources indicated that Ford may go along with this revised measure.

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