WASHINGTON (Aug. 22)
The Carter Administration announced today it had abandoned its intention to propose a resolution in the United Nations Security Council debate, starting tomorrow, on Palestinian rights, and declared it would veto a resolution by pro-Palestinian representatives.
Special Mideast Ambassador Robert Strauss disclosed that in addition, the United States position is to urge a second postponement of the Council meeting itself. The State Department later said, in releasing a transcript of Strauss remarks, made on a national TV program, that the remarks represented the U.S position.
Strauss said that President Carter approved the recommendation made to him yesterday by Vice President Walter Mondale, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and himself, following rejection by Israel and Egypt of the U.S. proposal over the past weekend.
In an interview on NBC-TV’s “Today” show, Strauss said the President was “perfectly comfortable” with the unanimous recommendation “that we sent him.” Asked if the U.S. would try to postpone the Security Council meeting for a second time, Strauss said “we will urge and we will encourage that a resolution not be brought up and if one is brought up, we will take such action as we deem appropriate and it will probably, as you can well imagine, be a negative action, a veto.”
Strauss added “We don’t want to face that we want to encourage that it be postponed.” He acknowledged that he had opposed the U.S. resolution but “I tested it very strongly.” in his conversations in Jerusalem and Egypt. A debate on a Kuwaiti-sponsored resolution on Palestinian rights was postponed for the first time last month after U.S. Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young met with Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdolla Yaccoub Bishara and the Palestine Liberation Organization observer at the UN Zehadi Labib Terzi.
REASON FOR NOT TALKING TO THE PLO
About his discussions in the Middle East, Strauss said “we found out what President Sadat (of Egypt) and Prime Minister Begin (of Israel) said about the alternative,” namely, the proposal by the U.S. to introduce a resolution of its own in the Security Council that would incorporate kev statements of the past on Palestinian rights and general language on the issue similar to that agreed upon-in the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
Strauss affirmed that Israeli and Egyptian officials “didn’t think a lot of it, you might as well face it and I came back and said so.” Strauss, who said he spoke to the President last night, was asked why the United States does not talk to the PLO since Young, who resigned last week; said it was foolish not to have these talks.
Strauss replied that the U.S. has urged “the PLO to do three or four very simple things. One is to recognize the right of Israel just to exist, they do exist, and not be in favor of the destruction of Israel and accept Resolution 242. Once we get that behind us, as we said, of course we want to talk with them. Of course we can’t negotiate and talk to someone about if Israel has a right to exist.”
When Strauss was asked how a solution could be worked out without talking to the PLO, he replied, “that’s the reason that we would urge they just accept the common basic law of society today that these individuals who reside in Israel — that this State — has a right to exist and under the terms of 242.”
Asked about those American Black leaders who think the U.S. should have closer ties with the PLO, Strauss replied: “I would hope that people would proceed very cautiously along that line. It’s a very volatile thing. It’s full of nuances and I would hate to see our foreign. policy suffer and I would hate to see individuals be misled. I know that each of these people mean to help this nation in its creation and execution of its foreign policy and that help is welcome but that really is our government policy. It has been set through a number of Administrations and it is very difficult to carry out.”