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Text of State Dep’t. Statement

June 28, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The State Department issued a statement today which Department spokesman Hodding Carter said represents the Carter Administration’s policy on the Middle East. The statement was read by the spokesman after he was asked for a comment on criticism of the Administration’s policy by Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R. NY). it said:

“Over the past few days we have noted a number of statements–from Prime Minister (Menachem) Begin, Foreign Minister (Moshe) Dayan, Senator Javits–about our policy toward the Middle East. Without going point-by-point into specific statements, let me restate the main points of Administration policy as most recently stated by Vice-President (Walter) Mondale.

“We believe strongly that progress toward a negotiated peace in the Middle East is essential this year if future disaster is to be avoided. We also believe that the only true security for any country in that troubled area is a true peace negotiated between the parties.

“Fortunately, we do not begin our efforts in a vacuum. A starting point exists in the UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November, 1967, which all governments involved have accepted. The United States policy since 1967 has consistently sought to apply the principles agreed in that resolution, to the process of negotiations called for in the Security Council Resolution 338 of October, 1973, which all parties involved also accepted.


“The peace foreseen in these resolutions requires both sides to the dispute to make difficult compromises. We are not asking for one-sided concessions from anyone. The Arab states will have to agree to implement a kind of peace which produces confidence in its durability. In our view that means security arrangements on all fronts satisfactory to all parties, to guarantee established borders and steps toward the normalization of relations with Israel.

“That peace to be durable must also deal with the Palestinian issue. In this connection, the President has spoken of the need for a homeland for the Palestinians, whose exact nature should be negotiated between the parties.

“Clearly, whatever arrangements are made would have to take into account the security requirements of all parties involved. Within the terms of Resolution 242, in return for this kind of peace, Israel clearly should withdraw from occupied territories. We consider that this resolution means withdrawal on all fronts of the Middle East–Sinai, Golan, West Bank and Gaza–with the exact border and security arrangements being agreed in the negotiations.

“These negotiations must start without any preconditions from any side. This means no territories including the West Bank are automatically excluded from the items to be negotiated. Prior exclusion strikes us as contradictory to the principle of negotiating without preconditions. Nor does it conform to the spirit of Resolution 242 which forms the framework for these negotiations. Every Administration since 1967 has consistently supported 242 and it has the widest international support as well. As Vice-President Mondale stated in his speech June 17 the United States is determined to use its unique position in the Middle East to help the parties implement that resolution.”

State Department officials, in explaining why they issued the statement, said privately that the statement contains no new policy element but that recent remarks by Begin had “disturbed” them and appeared “contradictory.” They did not detail what they were referring to.

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