WASHINGTON (Sep. 24)
In separate weekend developments at the White House, President Carter set in fuller perspective the basis for Andrew Young’s resignation as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski outlined why the U.S. continues to shun the Palestine Liberation Organization which Young demands should be recognized.
Five weeks after Young’s resignation that brought sweeping charges from many American Black leaders blaming American Jews and Israel for his downfall, the President said flatly neither American Jews “nor anyone else urged me to ask Andy for his resignation.”
Carter made the statement yesterday during the swearing in of Donald F. McHenry as Young’s successor. The mainly Black audience broke into applause, both when the President praised Young as “my friend and a friend of the world” and when he added:
“I might say in passing that any claims or allegations that American Jewish leaders or anyone else urged me to ask Andy for his resignation are absolutely and to tally false and neither did anyone urge Andy to resign. He made his judgement on what was best for our country and him, and his role in the future, in my judgement, to help this nation will be “undiminished.”
ISRAEL ALSO ABSOLVED
Although he did not name Israel, the President seemed to imply that Israel also had no part in Young’s departure. Two weeks ago, when Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was asked whether Young’s resignation resulted from protests by American Jews or Israel or was voluntary, Vance absolved the American Jews but did not respond to the other two aspects of the question.
Speaking of the “sensitivities” of the Middle East, that are “perhaps as complex as any which have ever confronted negotiators or diplomats,” Carter said McHenry, a career diplomat with 19 years of experience including service as Young’s deputy at the UN, “understands those sensitivities.” (See related story P.3.)
Apparently agreeing with the President’s remarks about his resignation, Young said at the occasion, “In a very real sense, I think I ran my part of the race and while I wasn’t getting tired my time was probably over. And I really and truly have no regrets.”
REASONS FOR NOT TALKING TO THE PLO
Meeting with editors at the White House last Friday, Brzezinski was asked “why we have a policy not to talk to the PLO” while the U.S. has relationships with the Soviet Union and Cuba. According to the White House transcript, Brzezinski replied that “there are both very specific and more generic reasons for the absence of a formal relationship.”
He claimed that “the PLO for many years was committed to formulas which either directly asserted or at the very least strongly implied not only a solution which would be in its favor but the liquidation of the other side. And that, in the light of World War II and the moral imperative that that war has made us more conscious of, is unacceptable.”
The “more specific reasons,” Brzezinski added, “pertains to the agreement that Dr. (Henry) Kissinger signed with the Israelis when Sinai II was consummated (1975), namely that the U.S. would not negotiate with the PLO as long as the PLO is not prepared to accept a basis for the peace process that everybody else in the region, including even intransigent Arab countries have subscribed to, and that is to say (UN Security Council) Resolutions 242 and 338, and thereby Israel’s right to exist.”
Adding that this was “a specific reason why Kissinger made a commitment and why we feel this commitment, while not a formal treaty, should be respected, ” Brzezinski noted “the PLO has not been prepared to accept at least a shared platform on the basis of which to seek an accommodation.”
Brzezinski emphasized “a very basic proposition.” on the other hand, is that the “Palestinians” have “a right to participate in the determination of their future.” Carter, he added, “has gotten Prime Minister (Menachem) Begin to sign onto these principles at Camp David and thus we are not ignoring the Palestinians.”