State Department Does Not Rule out Emergence of Palestinian State

The State Department said that while the United States does not advocate the creation of a Palestinian state, it does not rule out that such a state could come into existence through negotiations.

“I don’t think you have found any United States Administration in recent years that advocated a Palestinian state,” Department spokesman Dean Fischer said Friday in response to questions from reporters. “But that does not necessarily mean that it should be ruled out of negotiations. I do not think that any American Administration could put itself in that position.”

Fischer denied that Secretary of State Alexander Haig meant to imply, when he told a Congressional committee Thursday, that Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital was “especially unacceptable” to the United State, that it ruled out negotiations.

Fischer said Haig had pointed out that most of the eight-point Saudi plan was unacceptable because it laid down conditions that should be negotiated. He said Haig was saying that a Palestinian state was “unacceptable unless and until it is negotiated.” Fischer added the peace process is the “appropriate” means for deciding this and other issues.

Fischer also said the United States had made it “clear” to Israel that it does “not condone” over-flights of Saudi Arabia, such as the one by Israel earlier this week in which the Israeli planes left after being confronted by Saudi aircraft.

“We feel that no action should be taken in that region that could raise tension,” he said. But when he was asked about Israeli surveillance flights over Lebanon, he stressed his statement was strictly confined to Saudi Arabia. Fischer added that the United States remains “hopeful” that Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza Strip will join the Israeli-Egyptian peace process.

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