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Negotiations in Cairo Seen for Egypt’s Purchase of British Arms

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The Egyptians can negotiate with the British Ambassador in Cairo for whatever arms they want to purchase from Britain, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense stated today in reply to questions arising from the announcement by the Foreign Office yesterday that the three-year-old embargo on the shipment of war materiel to Egypt had been lifted.

It is expected here that the first order the Egyptians will place is for the 16 Centurian heavy tanks they had on order when the ban went into effect in October, 1951. Jet planes, motor vehicles, artillery and ammunition are also known to be on the Egyptian priority lists. The Defense Ministry spokesman said that most of the weapons the Egyptians might want are in stock and that Centurian tanks would be available “quite quickly.”

Commentators in today’s London press were quick to underline the fact that Egypt has 30,000,000 pounds sterling in its current balance in Britain and has more than 100,000,000 pounds in frozen sterling accounts which Britain is releasing in small annual installments. The Daily Herald reported today that it is expected that the Anglo-Egyptian treaty providing for British evacuation from the Suez Canal zone is expected to be ready for signature by the end of September.

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