Haig Affirms Camp David ‘best Basis for Progress’ in Mideast Peace Process

Secretary of State Alexander Haig reiterated today that the only method of achieving Middle East peace to which the United States is committed is the Camp David process.

“This is the best basis for progress,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Haig, who is testifying before the committee on the foreign policy and arms control implications of President Reagan’s strategic force modernization program, was asked by Sen. Charles Mathias (R. Md.) to assess the viability of various methods of achieving peace in the Middle East including the eight-point plan proposed by Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Haig did not refer to the Saudi plan directly in his reply except to say that it has been discussed a great deal in the past week. He said he wanted to “categorically” stress that the only means of negotiations supported by the U. S. is Camp David.

HAIG SEES PROGRESS ON MFO, AUTONOMY

Israel has voiced concern over remarks by Reagan, Haig and other Administration officials which seem to imply that there are certain points in the Fahd proposal that could be welcomed as a step toward progress. Haig said today that the Camp David talks are leading toward progress both in the development of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) to patrol the Sinai after Israel’s withdrawal in April, 1982 and in the autonomy talks which will resume Nov. 11.

Meanwhile Haig said that a proposal submitted to Congress yesterday for a $79 million sale to aid an Arab communications system which would benefit the Palestine Liberation Organization and Libya is being withdrawn for further study by the Administration.

The proposal was for Ford Aerospace to sell satellite parts to a French firm, Interspatiale, which is wiring 21 African and Arab nations into a communications satellite system. Among those that will be linked to the system is the PLO, Libya and South Yemen.

When Senators first heard of the proposed private sale yesterday, they were upset by its military implications.

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