WASHINGTON (Oct. 31)
Sen. John Sparkman (D.Ala.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he supports an independent Palestinian state that would provide a homeland and self-rule for the Palestinians, according to an interview which was conducted here by the Beirut daily. A1-Anwar and released yesterday in the Lebanese capital. He added, however, according to the interview, that for this, the Palestinians should recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Sparkman also said he believes Israel “is fully interested in achieving permanent peace in the Middle East.” Regarding U.S.-Israel relations, the legislator said differences of views between the two countries on the possible reconvening of the Geneva conference was “not a crisis but an obstacle in the difficult road.” However, he added, the atmosphere has been “eased.”
He observed that the U.S. has been earnestly working for permanent peace in the Mideast “and I am still sufficiently optimistic that we will be able to establish peace soon.” He said he did not favor the adoption of additional UN Security Council resolutions on the Mideast problem and said Resolution 242 “is very suitable and should be maintained, since as soon as the Palestinians agree to recognize Israel’s existence, we will achieve positive results.”