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Tension is for Lessening Arab Countries and Israel, State Department Says

There is “not any real evidence” that tension is lessening between the Arabs and Israelis, Assistant Secretary of State George C. M### said today in an interview made available by the U.S. News and World Report.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs said also that “ultimately, there are some expressions of anti-American feeling in the Middle East. This is true particularly among the Arab states because of resentment of our Palestine policies. We feel, however, that we are regaining their confidence.” with reference to the continued tension between Jews and Arabs, McGhee said: “There have recently been difficulties between Israel and Syria over the Huleh swamp area which resulted in U.N. Security Council action and which brought new tension.

Asked what is going to happen to the “million” Arab refugees from Palestine, Mr. McGhee made the following statement: “There is now for the first time a disposition on the part of the Arab states to accept those refugees who do not wish to return to their former homes, provided their right to return and their compensation is not prejudiced by settlement and the U.N. will assure adequate funds.

“As a part of the 125-million dollar economic program that the President has requested for the Near East—the first comprehensive program for the Near East—there is included an item of 50 million dollars which would be available for refugees for resettlement or repatriation. This money would be available to pay the settlement expenses of the refugees. The President in his budget message recognized that this would be a program which would necessarily carry beyond the present year. The U.N. has estimated that it will take possibly five years and will cost 150 million dollars to achieve reintegration of the 800,000 Arabs who are now homeless around the periphery of the former state of Palestine.”

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