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Administration Mounts Campaign in Support of Its Middle East Policy

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The Carter Administration has mounted an intensive nation-wide campaign in support of its policy for a settlement in the Middle East, including the sale of weapons to countries in the area, and the out-look for American business there.

The State Department is leading the campaign and has arranged a series of conferences in conjunction with local organizations involved in international relations, business and civic affairs in major cities throughout America. “They are intended to increase an exchange of ideas and information about U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East,” the State Department said, in announcing the program Friday.

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the National Association of Arab Americans are both included among the “cooperating organizations” in the first conference which will be held at the Marriot Hotel in Atlanta on April 5. The chief co-sponsor for the conference with the State Department is the Southern Center for International Studies. The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and 22 other Georgia organizations are cooperating in the program, the State Department said.

WILL EXPLORE U.S. CONCERNS

“The conference is designed to explore with the citizens of Georgia the major political, economic and strategic concerns which determine United States foreign policy in the Middle East,” the Department said. “These sessions will focus on recent developments in Israel and the Arab world, the politics of energy, United States business opportunities in the Middle East and United States arms sales policy,” the State Department said.

The program as announced did not specifically point to the controversial package of warplanes the Administration wants to sell to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.

In the panel discussion on Israel’s position in the Middle East, one of the interlocutors will be Stuart Lewengraub, Southeast regional director of the ADL. Charles Wittenstein of the Southern Council, ADL, will be one of the interlocutors along with David K. Henkle, an executive of the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt division of the J. A. Jones Construction Co., Sam Ayoub, president of Coca-Cola’s Middle East grouping, and Kenneth Stein, an Emory University professor of Near Eastern history, will be interlocutors in the workshop on inter-Arab politics.

Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who is now a professor at Georgia University Law School; Alfred L. Atherton Jr., President Carter’s Ambassador at large for Middle East peace negotiations; and Sidney Sober, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, will address the conference.

Other organizations cooperating in the conference include: the Atlanta Jewish Welfare Board, NAACP Southeast region, City of Atlanta, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the League of Women Voters.

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