WASHINGTON (Oct. 31)
Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Advisor, said yesterday that the Israeli attitude toward a reconvened Geneva peace conference is “constructive” while the Arab attitude is “mixed” and noted that Carter’s target date for a conference as early as December may now take place later.
He also stated that the Palestine Liberation Organization could not be represented at the conference because of its position regarding Israel’s existence and because of strong Israeli opposition to its participation. However, he added, “There have been ways of taking care of problems such as these in the past.”
TALKS MAY NOT BE IN DECEMBER
In an interview on CBS-TV “Face the Nation,” Brzezinski said that the U.S. is now discussing a formula with Mideast leaders aimed at reconvening Geneva talks as quickly as possible. “We have talked it over with the Israel is and now we are talking it over with the Arabs,” he said. However, he stated, “I don’t think it all that important whether it is necessarily December, January or February.” This gave rise to speculation here that the issue of the PLO remains a sticking point on the road to Geneva.
Brzezinski pointed out that the formula was aimed at finding a way to overcome Israeli objections to the PLO at the talks, adding, he did not want to be too specific on this issue. “We are dealing with a situation in which excessive precision is an enemy of accommodation.” Hinting that the West Bank Arab mayors might be an acceptable compromise to Israel and the Arab countries involved in the Geneva talks, regarding Palestinian representation, Brzezinski said that Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan “has frequently drunk tea with the mayors of the West Bank. He knows very well the relationship between these mayors and the PLO.”