White House calls Habib fit, despite Bechtel tie

Faced with a call by a GOP senator for the resignation of Middle East trouble-shooter Philip Habib, the White House said Monday that President Reagan has ''utmost faith in his ability and integrity.''

Sen. Larry Pressler (R) of South Dakota called for Mr. Habib's resignation Sunday.

''It causes us no concern whatsoever,'' White House spokesman Larry Speakes said, that while mediating the Lebanon conflict Habib is also a consultant to the Bechtel Corporation - an engineering company with multimillion-dollar contracts with Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Speakes said he didn't know if the President was aware of Mr. Habib's Bechtel ties, adding that ''the point in the President's mind (is) that Habib is an honorable man.''

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