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No Plans for Shultz to Visit Mideast ‘at This Time’

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There are “no plans at this point” for Secretary of State George Shultz to visit the Middle East to try to reactivate the peace process there, State Department deputy spokesman Alan Romberg said today.

Romberg also denied a report in the widely circulated Parade magazine yesterday of a secret defense treaty between the U.S. and Israel that would have both countries fighting together under “certain circumstances.” Parade Magazine said, “Reportedly the pact calls for Israel to act as an aircraft carrier of sorts in the Middle East should the U.S. require a forward base for its troops.”

Commenting on this, Romberg said, “We’ve indicated before that this is not something that is in the works.”

Asked if Syria has indicated a willingness for indirect negotiations with Israel on the withdrawal of Israeli forces from south Lebanon, Romberg said the U.S. “has not offered to mediate and our objective is that all the foreign forces in Lebanon leave along with the other objectives we have consistently maintained.”

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