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U.S. Won't Pass the Hat for Patrols in Gulf, Shultz Says

June 13, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Secretary of State George P. Shultz, in an implied rebuke to congressional critics of Administration policy on the Persian Gulf, said Friday that the United States has no intention of seeking funds from Japan or nations in Western Europe to pay part of the cost of keeping the gulf open to shipping.

Shultz, on the first leg of a 7,575-mile flight from a North Atlantic Treaty Organization foreign ministers meeting in Iceland to talks in the Philippines, said, "The idea of the United States going around getting contributions for the support of our Navy just has no appeal. We don't have to do that."

Shultz spoke to reporters before his aircraft made a refueling stop at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage.

After conferring with President Corazon Aquino in Manila, Shultz is scheduled to attend a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Singapore.

Members of Congress, including Senate Republican leader Bob Dole of Kansas, have called for the Administration to obtain the help of U.S. allies before undertaking the risky process of escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers in the war-torn gulf.

Several lawmakers have suggested that Japan and West Germany, which receive much of their oil from the gulf, should be required to make financial contributions because their post-World War II constitutions prohibit them from mounting military operations that far from their own shores.

Although Shultz received no offers of help from NATO and President Reagan was unable to get any new commitments for the U.S. military position in the gulf during the economic summit in Venice, Shultz predicted that congressional opposition would fade once the lawmakers realize the full extent of British and French activities in the gulf.

"Those members of Congress who have gone to the area have come back pretty much saying that it is essential for us to be there," Shultz said.

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