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Javits: Vance’s, Atherton’s Mideast Trips Should Have Been Cancelled

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Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R. NY) said today that Secretary of State Cyrus Vance’s upcoming trip to Israel and Egypt should have been cancelled and Ambassador Alfred Atherton should have been recalled from the Middle East after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s speech Sunday rejecting further talks with Israel.

These steps would have been “more compatible with the role of the U.S., which is that of mediator and not of salesman,” Javits said in a speech on the Senate floor. He charged that Sadat has been “hardening” his position in order “to force the U.S. to offer its own terms for a peace settlement in the belief that the U.S. would then be obliged to pressure Israel into adopting those terms.”

Javits urged the United States to call on Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other “moderate” Arab states to help forward peace talks. He noted that Israel showed flexibility in its negotiating position in the talks with Egypt at Leeds Castle in England two weeks ago. The Senator also expressed the hope that President Carter would “publicly and privately urge Egypt and Israel to cool it” and return to the negotiating table without preconditions.

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