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Haig: U.S. Israel Have Common Strategic Aims and Must Work Together to Achieve Them

February 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of State Alexander Haig told Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir here last night that the U.S. and Israel have common strategic aims and that the two countries must work together to achieve them.

Haig made his remarks in delivering a toast to Shamir at a dinner party given in the Israeli diplomat’s honor by Ambassador and Mrs. Ephraim Evron at the Israeli envoy’s residence. Shamir’s visit to Washington marks the first high level meeting between Premier Menachem Begin’s government and the Reogan Administration. Shamir will meet with President Reagan at the White House on Tuesday.

In his toast to Haig, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed, Shamir spoke of the “pillars” that support Israeli-American friendship and said that the differences between the two countries can be worked out in a spirit of frankness.

Responding to this, Haig said, “The U.S. benefits from frankness and views (expressed) without equivocation.” He added, “We have an underlying commonality of strategic interest. Our relationship will always be viewed by strategic realities that bind Israel and the U.S. and frankness will be the ultimate guide and framework of our relationship.” Haig lauded Shamir for the manner in which he conducted his initial conversations with top American officials during his visit.


Leading American government officials in foreign affairs attended the dinner. In addition to Haig, they included Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick; Richard Allen, the President’s National Security Advisor; Walter Stoessel, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; Nicholas Veliotis, who is expected to be named Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East affairs; Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who was chairman of the National Security Council in the Nixon Administration; and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Samuel Lewis.

Others present included Sens. Edward Zorinsky (D. Neb.) and Larry Pressler (R.SD); Rep. Sidney Yates (D. III.) dean of the Jewish delegation in Congress; Ivan Novick, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Moshe Zack, editor of Maariv; and former syndicated columnist Joseph Alsop.

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