WASHINGTON (Jun. 22)
High State Department officials today indicated that Arab states will receive no priority over Israel in any granting of arms by the United States to countries in the Near East.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today that plans for a Middle East Defense Command were shelved and individual arrangements with separate Arab states and Israel were decided upon at a meeting held in the State Department on June 16. Officials of the Defense Department participated.
A State Department official, who could not be quoted directly, today called attention to the June I speech by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles as the key to what Israel should expect the arms policy to be. Mr. Dulles said in this speech that “while awaiting the formal creation of a security association, the United States can usefully help strengthen the inter-related defense of those countries which want strength, not as against each other or the West, but to resist a common threat to all free nations.”
U. S. TO DEMAND ASSURANCES ON DEFENSIVE USE OF ARMS
The Department is now deciding on how best to implement the formula supplied by Mr. Dulles in his speech. It has definitely been decided that assurances will be required that all arms must be used defensively. Department officials said.
(The Associated Press reported from Washington that in order to qualify for gift American weapons, the Middle East nations must sign pledges they will back the Western countries in the East-West struggle. They must agree to accept a small American military mission which will teach the local armed forces how to use American weapons and provide adequate publicity for the operation.)
According to officials in the Department, a press report that the Arab states would be given priority over Israel in arms aid has no basis in fact. What the actual program will look like when it is ready, it was said, is “anybody’s guess.” No details of plans to strengthen the Near East against Communism have yet been worked out, it was emphasized.
The two countries with which State Department arms arrangements are at the most advanced stage are Syria and Egypt, it was learned here today.