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He justified the use of words by Carter and others that are not in Resolution 242 by pointing out that while Palestinian “homeland” and “rights” are not in Resolution 242, neither was “normal relations,” meaning real peace, he said. The Administration, he added, believes it is appropriate to raise such issues that go beyond 242 for the settlement itself is to be ultimately determined by the parties themselves.

The majority of journalists participated in the questioning that was conducted in news style with two officials. Their questions, couched in restrained tones, reflected professionalism and intimacy with the Mideast situation and the maneuvering of U.S. policy in that area.