DETROIT (Jul. 17)
Ronald Reagan, at his first press conference after being nominated the Republican Party’s candidate for the Presidency, said today that he recognizes an “alliance” between the U.S. and Israel and that he would not try to have the U.S. “dictate or impose a settlement” in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Reagan made that statement when he was asked what he would do to change the American position on policy in the Middle East and toward Israel. He said:
“I have said repeatedly that I believe the position of the U.S. first of all is one in which we recognize our moral obligation to a very loyal ally — the State of Israel — and that it is a two-way street. They are a stable presence sharing our ideals, a stable government, a very capable military, and so we recognize that alliance. But with regard to settling the problems, I would favor having the position of the U.S. help in any way it could but not trying to dictate or impose a settlement on any of those countries.”
There was no immediate clarification of what Reagan meant by “a two-way street.” Some observers understood him to be saying that the U.S. should help Israel in return for Israel’s presence as a stable democracy in the Middle East.