To the Congress of the United States:
I am transmitting herewith the First Report of the United States Sinai Support Mission. The Report describes the manner in which the Support Mission is carrying out its mandate to implement the United States' responsibility for the early warning system in the Sinai, as specified in the Basic Agreement between Egypt and Israel of September 4, 1975, and the Annex to the Basic Agreement. This Report is provided to the Congress in conformity with Public Law 94-110 of October 13, 1975.
The Report includes an account of American participation in the establishment of the Sinai early warning system during the first six months following the enabling legislation, a report on the current status of the early warning system, and a discussion of the actions now under way which will permit the Sinai Support Mission to conclude its construction and installation phase by early summer. When this preparatory period has been completed and we have had an opportunity to observe the ongoing operations of the early warning system, we will be better able to assess the feasibility of making technological or other changes that could lead to a reduction in the number of American civilians assigned.
As you know, the functions which the American volunteers are performing were requested by the Governments of Egypt and Israel. We have accepted responsibility for these functions, with the concurrence of both Houses of the Congress, because we believe the United States has an important stake in a stable Middle East.
The early warning system in the Sinai is an important investment in peace. It helps support the Basic Agreement between Egypt and Israel which represents a significant step toward an overall settlement. Continuing presence of the system provides in itself an important contribution to stability in the area and to the creation of a climate of confidence so necessary for further progress toward a just and durable peace.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
April 30, 1976.