Carter Administration Members Meet to Discuss the Middle East

An early foreign policy priority of the Carter administration is to kick-start Middle East negotiations. Contrary to the step-by-step diplomacy that characterizes American mediation in the region under Presidents Nixon and Ford, the new administration prefers a comprehensive Middle East peace process. During this April 1977 Policy Review Committee meeting, Carter’s team proposes such a Middle East negotiating outcome that would pass through a conference; aligning with Carter’s National Security Adviser Brzezinski’s Zbigniew diplomatic outlook articulated in a 1975 Brookings Institute report. The model includes withdrawal of Israel’s forces to almost pre-1967 borders and bringing the PLO into negotiations. Israeli officials are weary of this approach as it implied negotiating with multiple Arab parties at once, possibly imposing unwanted strategic outcomes. (source)