WASHINGTON (Apr. 6)
The State Department flatly denied reports from Cairo today that President Carter and President Anwar Sadat had agreed on the establishment of a “Palestinian state” during their two days of talks just ended. State Department chief spokesman Hodding Carter cited Sadat’s remarks at his press conference this morning and White House comments yesterday to stress that “there was absolutely no reference to anything of the sort.”
(Officials in Jerusalem said today that they heard nothing from any other source to support the Cairo report based on a story in the semiofficial Egyptian daily A1 Ahram. The officials described A1 Ahram as not necessarily reliable and without bias. There was no comment in Jerusalem on reports that the U.S. agreed to provide Egypt with arms.)
Replying to reporters’ questions, the State Department spokesman said “Our basic position on the PLO is unchanged” and that he had no information on Sadat’s request to President Carter to enter a dialogue with the Palestinians. Asked to distinguish between the PLO and the Palestinians, Carter said “Our position on the question of the Palestinian matter–PLO and Palestinians–remains the same as in our latest formulation.”
Officially stated U.S. policy is that the PLO must modify its charter calling for the elimination of Israel and accept UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 before the U.S. will have any contacts with it.
Carter also said that “We have no reason to change our position” with respect to the renewed fighting between Christians and Moslems in southern Lebanon. He said “We believe a number of parties in the area believe in stabilizing the situation” and that “we believe the Syrian effort has been positive.”