A Henry Kissinger Press Conference – March 26, 1975 – Past Daily Reference Room
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in a press conference carried on radio and TV on March 26, 1975, told a room filled with reporters that the Middle East Peace negotiations were not looking hopeful. Observing that the longer the current stalemate would go on, the greater the danger of another war in the Middle East. Kissinger echoed U.S. Military concern that the potential explosiveness of the situation, now that Israeli-Egyptian talks had broken down in both Washington and Brussels and that improvements in in Arab weaponry fueled fears that a protracted stalemate in the talks might encourage those in Israel who saw pre-emptive air-strikes as a means of averting heavy civilian and military casualties in a second Middle East War.
Further adding fears was the disclosure that Egypt had received the first 12 of 48 MIG-23 fighter places from the Soviets and was about to receive 22 Miage F-1W high performance fighters from France.
That, and other acquisitions including advanced tanks, missiles and armored personnel carriers could tip the balance of military power in the Middle East to the Egyptians, according to the Israelis. And unless they were able to procure the weapons they needed from the U.S., they would be at a serious disadvantage should shooting break out.
On the subject of Southeast Asia, Secretary Kissinger noted that the latest reports weren’t hopeful. He had urged that economic and military aid to Vietnam continue if South Vietnam were to remain away from the influence of the North. But given the then-current climate in Congress, it seemed unlikely. Kissinger echoed a proposal put forth by President Ford in a newspaper interview where a three-year phase-out, but that too was deemed highly unlikely to pass Congress. Kissinger went on to add the demoralization in Vietnam was inevitable and the loss of the South Vietnamese cities of Da Nang and Hue should not have seemed surprising.
And that’s just a sample of what was discussed in this almost one-hour Press Conference, broadcast live on March27, 1975 by National Public Radio.