Linowitz Says Reagan Committed to U.S. Role in Mideast Peace Process

Sol Linowitz, President Carter’s special envoy to the Middle East, told the American Jewish Congress tonight that President-elect Reagan and Carter were “both committed to United States participation in the Middle East peace process.”

In remarks prepared for delivery to the annual Stephen Wise Awards dinner of the American Jewish Congress at the New York Hilton, Linowitz said the President and his successor both recognized that “this is not a goal which is partisan or political in nature.”

“Rather, ” he added, “they are agreed that it is a right and proper objective for a nation which seeks, above all else, to help usher in a world at peace and wants to play its proper role in advancing the prospects for that peace.”

Linowitz continued: “So today we are as one — Republicans and Democrats alike — in our determination that the United States must play its proper part to help make Middle East peace a reality.”

Linowitz was the principal speaker at the winner attended by 500 people, at which Thomas Murphy, chairman of the board of directors of General Motors, and Marshal Cogan, board chairman of General Felt Industries, received the Congress’ Stephen S. Wise Awards. Murphy was cited for “distinguished leadership in the cause of interfaith understanding.” Cogan was honored for “dedication and commitment to human rights and social justice.”

DIFFERENCES HAVE BEEN NARROWED

Linowitz said Israel and Egypt have narrowed their differences over the powers and responsibilities that would accrue to the self-governing authority and “have also made substantial progress in agreeing on the modalities — the mechanism” for free elections by the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza.

According to the envoy, this brings the two sides “down to the most difficult, emotion-laden issues.” But he believed that Israel and Egypt clearly recognize” that self-government “must be credible and viable” and “it must have real power over the lives of the people on the West Bank and Gaza” and “offer them meaningful participation.” At the same time, he said, “both sides agree that Israel’s security must be fully preserved and protected” and “the dangers of attack, terrorism and disorder must be carefully guarded against.”

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