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Special to JTA Kissinger: Nixon Will Bring Soviet Jewry Issue to Attention of Soviet Leaders

May 22, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Henry Kissinger said today that President Nixon will look for an opportunity to present the Soviet Jewry issue at the summit conference with Soviet leaders in Moscow this week. Nixon’s assistant for national security affairs was asked at a news conference whether he could indicate what the President will do at the conference with relation to the more than a million petitions on the plight of Soviet Jewry that have been sent to the White House.

The President, Dr. Kissinger responded, is very much aware of the petitions and will look for an opportunity to bring the subject to the attention of those with whom he is to meet. He did not go beyond those words, which in effect, reiterate recent top level statements in Washington that the President would state the matter in an appropriate way to the Soviet leadership but without indicating how, when or in what form. After the news conference, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency asked how the Middle East situation fits into the pattern of the summit discussions. Dr. Kissinger only would say that it probably will be discussed. He declined to amplify that position. (See P. 3 for additional story.)


Neither Dr. Kissinger nor Nixon last Friday in his summation to the press at the White House of the American views of the conference, discussed the Middle East. Secretary of State William P. Rogers, when asked about it in his meeting with the press last Friday, replied with a brief outline on the American position that a settlement there was a matter for Israel and the Arab countries to make. The continued reticence of the White House and State Department to discuss the topic in relation to the summit seemed to indicate that the President does not wish to make it a major element in the Moscow talks.

Dr. Kissinger at the news conference today said heightened tensions that arose in the summer of 1970 over the Middle East, Cuba, and Berlin caused a suspension in the attempts between the superpowers for a summit meeting. This was his only reference to the Middle East conflict. The Soviet Union and Egypt in Aug. and Sept. of 1970 joined in violating the stand-still cease-fire along the Suez shortly after Egypt and Israel had agreed to it on the initiative of Secretary Rogers. The US after some delay backed Israel’s protests against the repeated violations.

Reiterating President Nixon’s views that he seeks substance and not atmosphere in Moscow, Dr. Kissinger seemed to indicate that the American Chief Executive is moving to build confidence between the superpowers which would enable them to reach agreement in the future. The mutual confidence growing out of agreement on one issue would lead to agreement on another, he said. This seemed to indicate that such issues as the Middle East would have to wait on agreements on other matters between the two great powers. President and Mrs. Nixon leave tomorrow morning for Moscow.

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