KANSAS CITY (Aug. 22)
President Ford made two references to the Middle East in his speech Thursday night accepting the Republican Party’s nomination of him as the Presidential standard bearer which appeared designed to placate Arab governments irked by the support pledged to Israel in the Republican election campaign platform.
Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz was among the 50 diplomats who accepted the State Department’s invitation to travel in a chartered plane to Kansas City for the concluding events of the tumultuous convention but most of the Arab countries turned it down. Reflecting pique, Egypt assigned First Secretary Baher Elseder for the trip. Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia rejected the invitation.
The United Arab Emirates. Qatar, the Sudan and Uganda were among those which accepted Mrs. Dinitz accompanied her husband to the events. Secretary of State and Mrs. Henry A. Kissinger also belatedly attended, arriving a day after they were originally scheduled to have been here.
Kissinger had been under domestic wraps during the last weeks of the campaign during which former California Governor Ronald Reagan emphasized his criticism of the Administration’s foreign policy as a major reason why he should be the Republican nominee. An amendment to the platform of “morality in foreign policy,” proposed by Reagan and accepted by the President’s lieutenants without a floor fight to avoid further divisiveness within the party, was said to have angered the secretary.
However, he told reporters that he would go about his work without paying attention to the amendment. “We will conduct our foreign policy at the direction of the President as heretofore and I don’t think it will have any effect on the conduct of our foreign policy.” he said.
MIDEAST ACHIEVEMENTS LISTED
In his bare-boned summation of foreign affairs, Ford listed the Sinai agreement as one of his achievements in his two years as President. In making pledges for future conduct, he emphasized he would continue to seek a settlement of the Middle East conflict.
“Israel and Egypt, both trusting the United States, have taken an historic first step that promises an eventual just settlement for the whole Middle East” Ford told the convention. Later in his speech, he pledged “we will continue our strong leadership to bring peace, justice and economic progress where there is turmoil, especially in the Middle East.”
ELEMENTS NOT MENTIONED
The President did not mention the politicalization of the United Nations; aid to Israel, politically, economically and militarily; opposition
While receiving the plaudits of the convention and their thousands of guests in the Kemper Arena. Ford waved to Reagan who was seated in the Gallery with his running mate Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker, and their wives, to come to the podium. He told the convention he was glad Reagan was now on his side of the line. The Reagans joined President and Mrs. Ford. The Schweikers remained in the stands reserved for guests.
REAGAN SUGGESTS TONE
Inviting Reagan to address the convention, the President stoop aside while his defeated rival reciprocated his call for party unity by pledging support to the President and his running mate, Kansas City Senator Robert Dole, against the Democratic ticket. Then, apparently referring to the “morality in foreign policy” amendment that Administration forces had indicated was nearly all agreeable to them despite its strong implied attacks on the administration, Reagan stressed: “There are cynics who say that a party platform is something that does not often amount to much. Whether it is different this time than ever before, I believe the Republican party has a platform that is a banner of bold, unmistakable colors with no pastel shades.”
Thus Reagan appeared to be telling the convention, the President Kissinger and the diplomats that the Republicans are campaigning on pledges, including those made about Israel, that are to be honored, and not to be considered as lip service for campaign purposes only.