Israel’s Views on Middle East Defense Expected by Stated Dept.

A State Department spokesman today indicated that Israel’s suggestions relating to the defense of the Middle East would be welcomed. He confirmed that Israel has been officially informed that the United States, Britain, France and Turkey intend to proceed with formation of a Middle Eastern command regardless of Egypt’s stand on the matter, Similar information has also been conveyed to the Governments of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, he said.

Asked if Israel has made any suggestions on how an effective Middle East command can be achieved, the spokesman said, “informally there have been discussions’ but “of formal suggestions, I don’t think so.” To the question whether Israel has given any indication that she would join, the spokesman replied: “I don’t think any official decision of that kind has been taken by any country.”

Details on the operation of the Middle East command still have to be worked out, the official said when asked if the headquarters would be located in Egypt in accordance with the original proposals which were rejected by Egypt.

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