WASHINGTON (Dec. 11)
Reports that the Carter Administration may reduce foreign aid in the new national budget for the fiscal year 1980 that may surprise both Egypt and Israel were partially confirmed by the State Department today. The reports coincided with President Carter’s expressed impatience with the failure of Egypt and Israel to complete a peace treaty and his December 17 “deadline” for a treaty as targeted in the Camp David accords.
Department spokesman Hodding Carter was asked about the reports that the President is taking a strong stand against any new major aid packages to Israel and Egypt which are receiving about $3 billion this fiscal year that ends next Oct. 1. Israel gets about two-thirds of that amount. However, it is understood that Egypt is to be rewarded with a generous increase in aid for its decision to negotiate with Israel on a treaty.
“We are in the process of setting budget,” Carter replied. Noting that the President will announce his budget decisions in the new year, Carter added, “as he approaches what are going to be hard decisions across the board, he is aware of our foreign assistance programs, both to other nations and our own national interests. It is also obvious,” the spokesman said, “that foreign aid programs are being looked at very carefully as all our programs in the context of the necessity to fight inflation.”