- Title Western allies unlikely to give Reagan quick reply on support plea
- Author Thomas, Christopher
- Publication Title The Times
- Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
- Date Monday, June 8, 1987
- Issue Number 62789
- Page Number 6
- Place of Publication London, England
- Language English
- Document Type Article
- Publication Section News
- Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
- Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
Shadow of Gulf confrontation over the Venice summit Western allies unlikely to give Reagan quick reply on support plea President Reagan has written privately to the leaders of Western Europe and " Japan asking for co-operation in ensuring the free flow of oil through the Gulf. He plans to raise the issue at the Venice economic summit today. The allies are unlikely to give a detailed response, how - ever , until the US clarifies how it will conduct its planned security operation, which seems to be sinking ever deeper into muddle and confusion. Congress, which continues to believe that the full implica - tions of the operation have not been thought out, is playing for time , hoping that more acceptable alternatives might emerge. The delaying strategy is infuriating the White House, which believes Capitol Hill is interfering excessively in foreign policy . New legislation has been introduced by Democratic leaders to postpone the plan to put 11 Kuwaiti oil tankers under the protection of the American flag. Apart from being a delaying tactic, the move is designed to distance the Democrats from an opera - tion that is fraught with political and military risks. The legislation is clearly de - signed to die after a short time. President Reagan's plan to escort American flag vessels with warships continues to worry the Democrat - control - led Congress, which seems to be struggling to find a way of dissociating itself from it, while not necessarily blocking it. Republicans, too, are wor - ried by the security operation. "They don't like the reflagging and they don't like the alternatives ," Mr Robert Dole, the Republican leader in the Senate, said of his colleagues. Moscow — Tass yesterday accused President Reagan of using the summit to expand Nato activities to areas of tension outside Europe (A Correspondent writes). "At last year's conference in To - kyo , Reagan insisted that his partners approve US air raids on Libya", Tass said. "By all appearances in Venice he will demand participation in the US venture in the Gulf." The Administration is ex - pected to deliver a com - prehensive report to Congress this week on the security operation . Resolutions in both chambers of Congress de - manded the report before the operation could go ahead. The Administration , mean - while , is going ahead with plans to increase the number of warships in the Gulf from seven to nine. American intelligence has spotted a Soviet Kara-class guided - missile cruiser heading to - wards the area, heightening fears that Moscow intends to increase its naval presence. But in an interview pub - lished in The New York Times yesterday Mr Yuli Vorontsov, the Soviet First Deputy For - eign Minister , said Moscow had no intention of augment - ing its force of three small warships. Reagan Administra - tion officials are privately dismissing a denial by China that it has not sold missiles to Iran. It saidt they were sup - plied by North Korea. VENICE: Two senior US officials yesterday warned Iran against deploying its Silk - worm missiles at the Strait of Hormuz (Our Diplomatic Correspondent writes). The White House Chief of Staff, Mr Howard Baker, said: "Iran should think very hard about deployment. The world would be better off, and frankly Iran would be better off if the missiles were not deployed." The National Security Ad - viser , Mr Frank Carlucci, said: "It would be very unhelpful for them to try to use these missiles to interfere with free - dom of navigation." From Christopher Thomas, Washington Surrounded by security men, a waving Chancellor Kohl of West Germany arriving by canal last night at his Venice hotel ready for the summit which opens this evening.