U.S. Envoy Philip C. Habib met in Jeddeh yesterday with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud, apparently to gain renewed backing for the American effort to resolve the Syrian missile crisis in Lebanon following the Arab outcry over the Israeli raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor.
The Saudi news agency said Habib held a one-hour meeting with Prince Saud. Habib, on the second leg of his latest mission, is also thought to be planning to discuss the prospects for the Arab League attempt to find a long-term solution to the political turmoil in strife-torn Lebanon, Washington Post correspondent David B. Ottaway reported.
The Arab furor over the Israeli strike in Baghdad with American-made planes has cast some doubt on the Saudi willingness to continue playing an active role in the U.S. attempt to diffuse the crisis between Israel and Syria over the Syrian stationing of antiaircraft missiles in Lebanon.
In addition, announcement that the United States intends to veto any Arab resolution calling for sanctions against Israel in the present U.N. Security Council debate over the Israeli raid seems certain to complicate the Saudi position.
Meanwhile, the Arab League mediators are asking Lebanon's Christian Phalangists to renounce their ties with Israel as one step toward an overall solution, but the Phalangists are refusing to do this except as part of an overall settlement.