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Vice-president’s Office Denies Agnew Carried Message from Sadat to Nixon

August 5, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The office of Vice-President Spiro Agnew today flatly denied a persistent report that Agnew had carried a communication to President Nixon from Egyptian President Anwar Sadat last month on his tour of African and Asian countries. The New York Times reported on August 1 that Agnew informed Nixon of Sadat’s willingness to discuss a Mideast pact if the negotiators for Israel are “native Palestinian Jews.” Agnew reportedly said he was “encouraged to relay” the Arab preference of dealing with a native who could be more “sensitive to Palestinian problems.” The article noted that native-born Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was cited by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, a recent visitor to Cairo, as a logical prospect. Victor Gold, press secretary for Agnew, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that there was “no message from President Sadat that he wanted communicated back to Mr. Nixon. King Faisal communicated ideas to the Vice-President for President Nixon, but not from President Sadat.” Gold said he could not disclose the substance of Agnew’s discussions with the heads of state with whom he had met, but did acknowledge that Sadat’s name had come up in them, adding, “obviously there could not be any discussion of the Middle East without bringing the United Arab Republic and Sadat into it.” Gold further added that any suggestion the Vice-President’s presence in Saudi Arabia or in Kuwait was for the purpose of substantive mediation in the Middle East was in error. He stated that the United States’ role in the Middle East is being carried out by Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Assistant Secretary of State Joseph J. Sisco.

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