Brzezinski Sees Moderate Arab States Eventually Joining Peace Process

Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Advisor, expressed hope today that the “moderate Arab states,” particularly Jordan, will eventually join the peace process entered into by Israel and Egypt at Camp David. He also seemed to stress that the main thrust of the Camp David framework is not a separate peace between Israel and Egypt, but a comprehensive settlement of which a separate peace could be an early by-product.

Brzezinski, who was one of Carter’s principal advisors during the 13-day Camp David summit conference, made his remarks in reply to questions on the ABC television “Issues and Answers” program. He spoke against the background of developments over the weekend that included a decision by the Arab rejectionist states to break off all political and economic ties with Egypt because of the Camp David agreements and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance’s visits to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Vance apparently made little headway in convincing King Hussein of Jordan to join in the Camp David agreements or persuading King Khalid of Saudi Arabia and President Hafez Assad of Syria to support them.

Asked about Hussein’s warning that his relations with Egypt would be seriously affected by a separate Israeli-Egyptian peace, Brzezinski said: “Our view, of course, is that we are not involved here in a separate peace treaty. We have provided a comprehensive framework for peace and in the context of that framework, it is possible that one Arab country may be the first to sign peace, but the framework provides for a series of peaceful accommodations and the sooner the others join in, the less time gaps there will be.”

He continued: “One of the outcomes of Camp David is the expectation that as the issues are constructively resolved, that there will be an agreement between Egypt and Israel. That is explicitly provided for. But also a part of the Camp David package, as a matter of political reality, is positive movement on the other issues–the West Bank and Gaza.”

With respect to the moderate Arab states, Brzezinski said, “It will take time to discuss the issue with them, explain the arrangements, to make them see the nature of the process, to indicate where the process might be pointing, and at some point, and I hope quite soon, they will see clear-cut benefits for themselves in entering into such a process.” He said, “We feel that it is in the interests of all of the parties that moderate Arabs participate in that process as of as early a date as possible.”

Brzezinski said Hussein “raised a number of issues” with Vance at their meeting in Amman Thursday and “we will, of course, begin to provide the answers. We want to be as helpful as we possibly can. We understand his problems. We understand his difficulties. We can even appreciate some of his inhibitions. Nonetheless, we feel strongly that we now have a viable framework for peace and only Hussein will benefit and only the Arabs will benefit and indeed, untimately the Israelis as well, if all of the moderate parties take part in that process.”

NEXT STORY