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In addition, Dam said the participation by the Soviet Union in such a conference would not be helpful. “They haven’t shown any willingness or ability to play a constructive role in the Middle East,” he said.

Dam appeared to confirm reports that the State Department has recommended to Reagan that he appoint Thomas Pikering, now Ambassador to El Salvador, as Ambassador to Israel, replacing the retiring Samuel Lewis. Dam said it is now up to the White House to approve the recommendation.