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USSR Seen Taking Tougher Stand Toward Solution of Mideast Conflict

March 29, 1974
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A communique released by the White House today on Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s just concluded talks with Soviet leaders in Moscow indicated a toughened attitude by the Russians toward a settlement of the Middle East conflict; greater Soviet involvement in Middle East activities aimed at a peace settlement; and U.S.-Soviet determination to pursue mutually beneficial trade relations regardless of the sentiment in Congress to link trade with the easing of Soviet emigration policies.

That was the interpretation put on the communique by political analysts here today. Government officials, however, maintained strict silence on its meaning, taking their cue from Kissinger who said in London today that he would not discuss his three days of talks in Moscow until after he reported to President Nixon.

A more active Soviet hand in current Mideast activities was seen in the paragraph which said that the U.S. and the USSR had “agreed that taking into account their special role at the Geneva peace conference on the Middle East, the sides would make efforts to promote the solution of the key questions of the Middle East settlement.” This was taken to mean that the Soviet Union insisted that the U.S. no longer maintain its solo performance in the disengagement talks and that Moscow also participate as a partner in any agreement.


The communique also indicated that the Kremlin is adamant that the Nixon Administration carry out its commitment to supply huge credits and most-favored-nation treatment despite overwhelming opposition in both houses of Congress against these concessions until the Soviets relax their emigration policies. The communique said, “The sides are determined to pursue, on the basis of strict observance of the obligations they have assumed, the established policy aimed at making the process of improving Soviet-American policies irreversible.”

It was noted here that the word “irreversible” was used by Kissinger in his remarks shortly after his arrival in Moscow Sunday. The communique also noted that the two sides “intend to develop further mutually beneficial ties and business like cooperation in different areas, including trade, economic and scientific and technological areas on a long term basis.”

Regarding Kissinger’s meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan here tomorrow on an Israel-Syrian disengagement process. State Department spokesman John King would say only that if Kissinger’s schedule holds, he will meet Dayan tomorrow. He could not say if there would be any talks with Dayan on Saturday. Asked when the Syrians would arrive for the talks, King said he still expected them April 10, 11 or 12.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed that “scheduling problems” were responsible for the two-week gap between Kissinger’s meeting with Dayan and with the Syrian representatives. The source would not elaborate except to say that the gap might be due to the shooting on the Syrian front or to Kissinger’s desire for a needed vacation. (By Joseph Polakoff)

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