JERUSALEM (Dec. 6)
President-elect Jimmy Carter’s designation of Cyrus Vance to be the next U.S. Secretary of State was greeted here with a mixture of satisfaction and uncertainty. The fact that Vance’s past government service and diplomatic missions never involved him directly in the Middle East conflict makes him something of an unknown quantity with respect to the problems of this region.
On the other hand, nothing in his record indicates that he might oppose the basic American commitment to a strong Israel, sources here said They pointed out that Israeli political leaders have made a point of meeting with Vance in recent years to keep him briefed on Israel’s views.
A source of, satisfaction is Vance’s apparent disposition to seek an overall settlement of the Middle East conflict rather than the piecemeal approach favored by outgoing Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In any event, more will be known of Vance’s views after his meeting with Defense Minister Shimon Peres in Washington later this month.
(In Washington today, two leading Senators–Clifford Case (R.NJ) and Frank Church (D. Idaho)–warmly endorsed Vance for Secretary of State. Church, who is in line to be the next chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee when John Sparkman (D.Ala.) retires, said Vance “has the ability, the experience and the perspective to serve the country well.” Case, the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee and a former law partner of Vance, said “I am sure he will carry out the duties of this enormously responsible position with dedication and great competence.”)