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July 08, 1988 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-07-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

I CAPITOL REPORT

GREATER DETROIT CHAPTER OF HADASSAH'S

`BID FOR LIFE AUCTION'

7:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 10

Silent Auction 7:00 p.m. — Live Auction 8:30 p.m.

Bush Opposes Soviet
Role In Mideast

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Washington Correspondent

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V

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32

FRIDAY, JULY 8, 1988



[014

A RTIA L ART

Fri

,



ice President George
Bush, strongly op-
posed to an increased
Soviet role in the Middle
East, insisted that any inter-
national peace conference
should serve only as a
"catalytic move" to encourage
Jordan's King Hussein to
enter into direct negotiations
with Israel.
"I do not want to see an
ongoing, permanent, in-
creased Soviet influence in
the Middle East," he said,
adding that a limited interna-
tional conference "ought to do
what is necessary to have
King Hussein feel unthreat-
ened enough to do what I
think he should do and even-
tually will do — have direct
negotiations with the Israelis,
sit down as (the late Egyptian
President Anwar) Sadat did
and do that."
In an interview in his
White House office, Bush
discussed in detail his views
on the Arab-Israeli conflict,
and demonstrated an
understanding of the
diplomatically-explosive
nuances of the Arab-Israeli
conflict. He sought to
underline his strong support
for Israel.
Bush said Hussein has
"enormous pressures on him
from different quarters. And,
I think, this is the feeling of
many in Israel — if a catalyst
for his sitting down is some
kind of an international con-
ference before this, that's
fine!"
But what Bush strongly op-
posed is any party having a
veto "over what is arrived at
in direct negotiations:'
Bush has not yet seen any
significant shift in the Soviet
Union's attitude toward the
Middle East that would just-
ify a more active diplomatic
involvement. However, Bush
said he would welcome an im-
provement in Soviet-Israeli
relations. He said, "It used to
be that people felt a certain
tension about that. But I
don't feel that way at all.
That's Israel's business, and
if they can have more con-
sular exchanges, or more rela-
tions with the Soviets, that
shouldn't be a negative for
the national security inter-
ests or the foreign policy of
the United States?'
Bush expressed hope that
an improved Soviet-Israeli
relationship would result in
more of a commitment to
the Soviet Union, more

release of Soviet Jews — a
question I feel strongly about
— release to go home."
In his policy statement of
December 13, 1979, made
when he was running for the
Republican presidential
nomination, against Ronald
Reagan, Bush opposed "at-
tempts to achieve a com-
prehensive Geneva-type set-
tlement in a process that
would include the Soviet
Union."
Asked to comment on that
statement, he said, "I still

George Bush:
Mideast View.

feel we should keep them out
(of the region). But the inter-
national conference, in my
view, is a kind of catalytic
move.. What we're trying to
do, and I know there are divi-
sions inside Israel on it, but
this is the way I feel, is to pro-
vide an umbrella that per-
mits Hussein to go one-on-one
with Israel — direct negotia-
tions. That's not the Soviets
intervening, the Soviets hav-
ing a role, or indeed the U.S.
being in between Israel and
Jordan as the negotiations go
forward. So my concept of an-
international conference is
one that it is the needed
catalyst, or an umbrella, that
gives Hussein what he needs
— credibility amongst a lot of
different factions in the Arab
world, particularly, and then
permits direct negotiations."
Bush said limiting the con-
ference to the five permanent
members of the Security
Council "makes pretty good
sense."
The Vice President said
that recent statements by the
PLO, including the highly-
publicized statement by the
PLO's spokesman, Bassem
Abu-Sharif, have not yet met
the long-standing U.S. condi-
tions for recognition of the
PLO.
In addition to clearly ac-
cepting UN Security Council
Resolutions 242 and 338 and
Israel's right to exist, the

I

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