U.S. President Gerald Ford re-affirmed his country's support for he state of Israel in a?
U.S. President Gerald Ford re-affirmed his country's support for he state of Israel in a welcoming speech to visiting Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, in Washington on Tuesday (27 January).
The President joined cabinet officials and two thousand spectators who turned out in a downpour at the White House to welcome Mr. Rabin at the beginning of his visit to the United States.
In his speech, Mr. Ford said he hoped Israel would increase its efforts toward peace in the Middle East. He praised Israel's decision to reach troop disengagement accords with Egypt in the Sinai, but said more had to be one to avert the threat of a new war.
He told Mr. Rabin on the rain-swept White House lawn: "The wisdom and determination you and your nation have so amply displayed thus far will be required in even greater measure in the days ahead."
Mr. Rabin, in his reply, said that Israel would continue to do "all that can be reasonably done" to encourage moves towards peace in the Middle East.
He said the Israeli government was committing all its energies towards securing peace between Israel and Arab countries.
Following the ceremony, Mr. Rabin held talks with President Ford. He is due to go before a joint session of Congress to stress that peace in the Middle East can be won only if Israel can negotiate from a position of strength.
The Prime Minister, in the U.S. on a 10-day visit, said he was encouraged by the U.S. veto on Monday (26 January) of a United Nations Security Council resolution to recognise the Palestinian right to statehood and by his talks with Mr. Ford.