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Arab Countries Split on Joining Middle East Defense Alliance

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Information received here indicates that despite Egypt’s refusal to participate in the Middle East defense alliance, other Arab countries–especially Saudi Arabia and Lebanon–have made it clear that they would like to join such an alliance. A meeting of representatives of all Arab states to discuss the issue will take place tomorrow in Cairo.

It is believed here that the decision of the Big Powers to proceed with the formation of a Middle Eastern command without making any overtures to the Arab states is an indication that the United States, Britain, France and Turkey do not intend making participation in a Middle Eastern regional security system an object of political barter. This, it is assumed here, may have a salutary effect on the Arab states, some of which realize that their interests do not necessarily coincide with Egypt’s when it concerns the defense of the Middle East.

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