JERUSALEM (Jul. 7)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan expressed strong support yesterday for President Carter’s desire to aim for a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement and said he has recommended to Premier Menachem Begin that he discuss such a settlement with Carter when they meet in Washington July 19-20 rather “than waste time on interim settlements.” Dayan said that despite differences of opinion between Israel and the U.S. “Carter’s stance is the right one” with respect to an overall settlement.
Dayan is reported to have made those remarks at a meeting with Sen. Robert Dole (R. Kan.) who is presently visiting Israel. The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis who will fly to Washington next week to report on Israel’s peace concepts prior to Begin’s arrival.
Dayan also expressed agreement with Carter’s assessment that now is the most opportune time for reaching a settlement. He said he reached that conclusion on the basis of his 30 years experience in the area. He said further that he could detect increased Arab preparedness for peace, a view also held by Carter, although Arab terms and pronouncements disturbed the prospects for peace. Dayan warned that Israel and the Arabs are still separated by a serious gap but he hoped it would be narrowed by the Carter-Begin talks.
Dole said here yesterday that there was no erosion of U.S. policy with respect to Israel despite differences of opinion between them. “One can speak of a certain uncomfortable feeling, some tension. But such tension or even disagreement must not be construed as a crisis in the relations between the U.S. and Israel,” he said on his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. He added, “If there has been any erosion I have not been able to detect it.”
Dole, who was President Ford’s Vice Presidential running mate in last year’s elections, will address the 80th national convention of the Zionist Organization of America in Jerusalem tonight. Immediately after his arrival he began a full day of meetings with Israeli leaders, including Begin, Dayan and Defense Minister Ezer Weizman. He also called on President Ephraim Katzir.