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U.S. Stands Pat on Mideast Policy

The Carter Administration made it clear today that Saturday’s terrorist raid on Israel which it has strongly condemned, has not changed its position on the Palestinian question, Israeli settlements or the need for Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, issues that have strained relations between Washington and Jerusalem in recent weeks.

The Administration affirmed that it is still committed to a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East and will not allow the latest terrorist outrage to disrupt the efforts to reach a negotiated settlement. At the White House, Press Secretary Jody Powell replied “no” when asked if the tragic events of the weekend had altered Administration policy.

At the State Department, chief spokesman Hodding Carter said “We do not intend to allow this (terrorist) act to achieve its aim of undermining the peace process. Our efforts will continue. We hope that all those committed to a comprehensive and just peace settlement will also keep their eyes on this goal. He also said that “the violence which we deplore does not change the positions we have stated a number of times.”