JERUSALEM (Dec. 5)
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir has accused the Reagan Administration of “clearly violating” its own repeated pledges not to link economic aid to Israel with political differences between Jerusalem and Washington. “We regard this very gravely indeed… We will certainly take action to try to stop it,” Shamir said in a television interview over the weekend.
He said that the Administration’s opposition to a move in the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to increase military and economic aid to Israel stems from hopes and efforts to get the Arabs to accept President Reagan’s Middle East peace proposals. The Foreign Minister stated that this attitude “can only be regarded as an unfriendly act.” (See related story from Washington.)
The Foreign Minister said the reasons given for American hesitation to increase aid hurt Israel more than the actual state and level of the assistance.
Shamir confirmed that during his recent talks in Washington there had been no hint of such an Administration move. Israel must now seek to explain its policy and persuade American officials to accept it without harming assistance levels and to maintain the traditional friendship between the two countries, he said.
“There is a mutuality of interest between us. We both want peace in the Middle East. And to get peace Israel must be strong and self-confident,” Shamir said. He denied that America was unhappy with Israeli policies and actions in Lebanon.
“The U.S. welcomed Israel’s plans and proposals for Lebanon when these were first outlined to them,” he said. Shamir denied reports of any forward movement on the part of the PLO and Syria concerning withdrawal of their forces from Lebanon. “There has been no progress in their attitudes,” he said.
REPORT HABIB, DRAPER RECALLED TO WASHINGTON
Meanwhile, there were reports from Washington that Philip Habib, Reagan’s chief Mideast peace negotiator, and his principal associate, Morris Draper, are being recalled to Washington for consultations this week. The State Department, which made the announcement yesterday, had no immediate comment on why it wants the two negotiators to return. Both Habib and Draper have been shuttling between Jerusalem and Beirut in an effort to work out an agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli, Syrian and PLO troops from Lebanon. So far their efforts have not met with any success.