WASHINGTON (Jan. 27)
The Carter Administration appeared to be hedging today over President Ford’s commitment of last October to provide Israel with four categories of highly sophisticated weapons. State Department spokesman Frederick Z. Brown said in reply to reporters’ questions that the new Administration has not yet accepted Ford’s commitment and that it will hold “full consultations” with Congress on the arms sales to Israel. But he added that meanwhile, the technical process of fulfilling the commitment was under way at the Pentagon.
Brown replied, “That is correct,” when asked if no decision has been made not to go ahead with the promised arms. He also cautioned reporters not to interpret his remark that there will be full consultations with Congress as meaning that the Carter Administration has made a decision not to go forward with Ford’s pledge. Congress is empowered under law to consider the sales abroad of general military articles in excess of $25 million and of special equipment in excess of $7 million.