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Kissinger: U.S. Vote for Consensus Statement in UN Reflected American Position Since the Six-day War

November 18, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger said yesterday that the U.S. approved the censure of Israel’s policies in the occupied Arab territories because it reflects America’s position since the Six-Day War and because of pending developments at the United Nations. He expressed support of the Security Council’s consensus statement, adopted unanimously last week, in response to a question from a delegate to the 22nd annual North Atlantic Assembly in Williamsburg, Va., where he had just given an address in support of NATO.

Kissinger was asked about the “cynical” belief that the U.S. vote might have been different if the censure had come up before the Nov. 2 Presidential elections. He replied, “That belief is totally incorrect.” He added that the U.S. had to take into consideration the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) mandate on the Golan Heights which expires Nov. 30 and the general debate on the Palestinian question in the General Assembly.


“If we are to contribute to peace in the Middle East, we must be prepared to take into account the views of all parties,” Kissinger said. The consensus statement, he continued, “sharply reflects” statements the U.S. itself has made over the past 10 years–since the 1967 war. He said the censure did not reflect a change in U.S. policy, observing that “we felt we had an obligation to go along with the consensus.”

Kissinger also pointed out that the U.S. has cast seven vetoes of Security Council resolutions on Mideast issues alone. He noted that this is period of “great uncertainty in the Middle East” and that it was “in the national interest and in the interest of peace in the Middle East that we voted for it” (the consensus statement). He said the U.S. would have voted for such a resolution last May if the Arabs had agreed to delete “two sentences” as they did in the consensus statement. He also pointed out that the statement does not have legal force.

Kissinger said the easing of Syrian-Egyptian tensions means progress “can again” be made “toward peace negotiations” and toward a general or preparatory conference in Geneva. He said European participation in the Middle East political process would depend on European-U.S. coordination.

Kissinger’s references to the U.S. position over the past 10 years, some observers felt, appeared to reflect his thinking all along, since he became Secretary of State three years ago. It also seemed to buttress the view that the State Department believes a Mideast settlement must be along the lines of the Rogers plan.

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