Brezhnev appeals to US on Israel
Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev asked President Reagan ''to act jointly with the Soviet Union at the Security Council with a view toward bridling Israel,'' Monitor correspondent Ned Temko reports.Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Brezhnev's message, reported Monday by the official news agency Tass, bore some surface resemblance to an appeal for superpower cooperation during the 1973 Mideast war that preceded an implicit Brezhnev threat to send Soviet troops to the area. But one diplomat here commented privately, ''I see no indication we are anywhere near that kind of situation now.''
At present, Western analysts assume, the main Soviet aims are to secure some role for Moscow in a Mideast diplomatic process dominated by the Americans and to find a workable alternative to returning a US-West European troop contingent to ensure calm in Beirut.
Diplomats add that the circumstances of the present Mideast conflict are different than in 1973, when Egypt had publicly proposed a joint Soviet-American contingent to secure a cease-fire with Israel. The Americans opposed this, and a message to Washington from Mr. Brezhnev later declared, ''If you find it impossible to act jointly with us in this matter (of dispatching troops to the Mideast), we should be faced with the necessity urgently to consider the question of taking appropriate steps unilaterally.'' After some superpower saber-rattling, including a heightened military alert in the United States, the crisis passed.