Sharett Greets Tri-partite Statement on Near East Arms Policy

Israel’s general satisfaction with the “positive attitude” of Britain, France and the United States in opposing the continuation of the Near East arms race was voiced here today by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett. He spoke at a press conference on the recent tri-partite statement of policy on the Near East.

Pointing out that Israel had no intention of modifying the existing situation in the Near East by force or threat of force, Minister Sharett said that Israel is not completely satisfied with the section of the Allied statement which states that arms will be supplied upon the receipt of assurances that they will be used only for non-aggressive purposes. The Foreign Minister said that this did not contain a positive bid for peace, stability and the establishment of normal relations in the Middle East.

Asked about the Western rowers’ point that the arms shipped to the Near East are meant to be used for the overall defense of the area, Ministor Sharett said that Israel’s primary concern is with the defense of its own territory.

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