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Jimmy Carter Administration: Fourth Message to Congress Transmitting a Report on U.S. Sinai Support Mission

(October 19, 1977)

To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to transmit herewith the Fourth Report of the United States Sinai Support Mission. It highlights the Mission's operation of the United States early warning system in the Sinai and the relationship of the system to the overall disengagement arrangements of the Agreement signed by Egypt and Israel on September 4, 1975--the Sinai II Agreement. This report is provided to the Congress in conformity with Section 4 of Public Law 94-110 of October 13, 1975.

Since the beginning of operations on February 22, 1976, there have been no serious intrusions into the area of the early warning system by either party. Some 40 minor or accidental intrusions have been detected and reported to both sides and to the United Nations, but none of them appears to have had any hostile purpose.

The Director of the Sinai Support Mission raised with senior Egyptian and Israeli officials the Congressional interest in the feasibility of substituting nationals of other countries for some of the Americans working in the Sinai. They expressed strong opposition to this proposal as, in their view, such a change would create difficult problems for their governments and risk upsetting arrangements which are now working to their complete satisfaction. Both parties continue to make clear their full support for the role of the United States in maintaining the disengagement arrangements in the Sinai.

At a time when we are engaged in intensive discussions to help Israel and the Arab states make further progress in the search for a lasting peace, it is essential that the United States meet fully its commitments under the Sinai II Agreement. The Sinai Support Mission is an important element in meeting these responsibilities, and I urge the Congress to continue its support for this peacekeeping mission.

The White House,

October 19, 1977.

Sources: Public Papers of the President