WASHINGTON (Oct. 18)
The State Department disclosed today that the U.S. and Israel have agreed on a written addition to the six-point “working paper” on Geneva conference procedures drafted by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan. Department spokesman Hodding Carter described it as a “minute” but would not divulge its contents except to say that it dealt with parts of the conversations held in New York Oct. 4 between Vance, Dayan and President Carter.
There was speculation here that the addition spells out the fact that the U.S. and Israel do not agree on the make-up of the Geneva conference with reference to participation by the PLO but the U.S. recognition that Israel has veto power over the participants remains in effect.
However, Carter replied, “No,” when asked if the U.S. agrees in effect with Dayan’s implications that the working paper excludes PLO representation at Geneva. “We understand Israel’s position to be they object to the PLO. That understanding is, of course, an understanding of their position. Our position remains that the question of Palestinian representation remains to be worked out,” Carter said. He said the addition was not distributed to the Arab states which have received copies of the six-point working paper.
The State Department spokesman said that the addition was worked out in the last few days between Washington and Tel Aviv. Last Friday, he had told newsmen that no agreements had been reached with Israel apart from the six points in the working paper. Dayan mentioned no further agreements when he released details of the working paper to the Knesset last Thursday.
PALESTINIAN REPRESENTATION ISSUE NOT CLOSED
Asked whether the U.S. would complain or apply pressure on Israel if it refused to permit the PLO to attend the Geneva conference, Carter said that the U.S. believes that to assume that the question of Palestinian representation is closed is “erroneous” and that negotiations are continuing on the conference make-up.
However, he reiterated that the U.S. position is that any new participant must be agreed to by all the parties including Israel. “Israel has the right to object to any new participants. In this connection we’ve been fully informed of Israel’s objection to participation by the PLO which is also no secret,” he said. He noted that Vance said on the “Meet the Press” television program Sunday that the question of how the Palestinians will be represented at Geneva remains to be worked out and will be discussed further with the Arab states and Israel. (See related story from Jerusalem.)