LONDON (May. 11)
Cyrus Vance, the U.S. Secretary of State, declared today that the U.S. would adhere to “our special relationship” with Israel and denied that Washington would impose a Middle East settlement or alter its arms supply policies to Israel’s detriment.
He was speaking in the presence of Yigal Allon, Israel’s Foreign Minister, after a lengthy luncheon meeting at the United States Embassy. Allon told reporters that he regarded Vance’s statement as “a very positive definition of the United States role.”
Referring to what he termed “speculation in some newspapers,” Vance said that President Carter and he himself had said that a settlement “must be determined by the parties to the conflict in discussions among themselves,” and that the U.S. would work with the parties to that end.
He also discounted “speculation” about Arab plans for a Palestinian West Bank state in exchange for Israeli recognition by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Vance said “no specific proposals have been made by either side at this time,” although he said he hoped that at a later date there would be specific proposals. Nor did the United States intend to come out with a plan of its own, but was intent on using its good offices to help promote a settlement, he said.
On reports that Israel would cease to receive “preferential” treatment on arms supplies, Vance said the “special relationship” with the Jewish State would continue, since the Carter Administration was “committed to the security of Israel.” The U.S. would make sure Israel received the defense articles she required, including advanced technology items, Vance stated.
Asked to define “special relationship,” Vance said: “We were at the outset of Israel’s birth one of those who helped to bring it into being. We have been very close to Israel. We share the same values and we share the same hopes and aspirations.”
ALLON: READY TO GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
Allon, who was asked whether he shared President Carter’s view that the present Arab leaders were “moderate,” pointed out that so far Israel was the only party to the conflict to have declared its readiness to compromise over territory in return for a lasting peace. If it had been up to Israel, he said, “the Geneva conference would have been reconvened long ago.”
Unlike Carter, Allon said he had not met the Arab leaders concerned. “But I am ready to give them a chance to prove their moderation round the conference table,” he added. At today’s luncheon meeting, which lasted for 2 1/2 hours, the American and Israeli leaders reviewed American contracts with the Arab states, which, Vance said, were all “part of our continuing search for a just and lasting peace.” When the present round of contacts are over, Vance will go back to the area.
Also at today’s luncheon were Simcha Dinitz, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., and Ephraim Evron, assistant director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Later, Allon met with British Prime Minister James Callaghan and Foreign Secretary David Owen. This morning, he met Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, leader of the opposition Conservative Party. Allon will breakfast tomorrow with Anglo-Jewish leaders and hold a press conference before leaving London.