WASHINGTON (Apr. 5)
The United States will only guarantee an Arab-Israel peace if the Arabs and Israelis first arrive at a mutual agreement to live in peace, it was indicated here today by informed sources in connection with the statement made last night in the British Parliament by British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden. (See page 3.)
These sources, in describing the views of the State Department on Secretary Eden’s statement in which he declared that Britain would help guarantee any settlement that might be worked out between Israel and the Arab countries, said that while the United States does not believe such a settlement is possible now, if tranquility were achieved the U.S. would do its best to share in maintaining the situation.
These State Department, according to these sources, feels that tranquility on the part of both Israel and the Arab states is a necessary prerequisite to any agreement on the Arab refugee problem, the Arab-Israel frontiers and utilization of the Jordan River waters.
The State Department was depicted as thinking that an American guarantee on regional security is dependent first on a cessation of hostilities and then on acceptance by both sides of: 1. The recommendations of the United Nations on Arab refugees; 2. The recommendations of the United Nations Truce Supervision Commissioner on boundary matters, and 3. The Eric Johnston plan for regional water development.
Some U.S. officials have characterized the Eden announcement as meaningless polemics in that any guarantee was contingent on previous peaceful agreement by both parties. In the event of such a peaceful agreement, it was pointed out, the guarantee would be relatively unnecessary. Other American officials have questioned the timing of the Eden statement, advancing the view that it reassured neither side and jeopardized Western relations with those Arab states opposed to British adherence to the Turkish-Iraqi pact.
Israel feels that no doubt anybody would guarantee a peace settlement between Israel and the Arabs after it is achieved, noting that if such a settlement could be arranged there would be no need for a guarantee. Informed sources indicated that the Israel Government has taken little comfort from British adhesion to the Turkish-Iraqi pact and the more recent British offer to guarantee an Arab-Israel settlement if the contending parties agree to make peace.
The Israel view is that Britain has subscribed to a discriminatory pact, Article Five of which specifically excludes Israel. Diplomatic efforts of Israel are being focused with renewed vigor toward a realistic approach to the current tense situation through a guarantee of Israel’s territorial integrity and military aid to redress the balance of power.