Dulles Says Soviet Union is Offering Arms to Arab States
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Dulles Says Soviet Union is Offering Arms to Arab States

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Secretary of State John FosterDulles said today in response to questions that there are indications, with some signs of reliability, that the Soviet Union is offering to furnish military equipment to Arab League countries. In the questioning, only Egypt was specifically named.

The Secretary was asked at his press conference if the United States was aware that the Soviet Union had offered munitions to Egypt or other Arab states. He replied that there were indications in which he places some reliability that such offers may have been made. He indicated, however, that his information was not official.

Stating that he did not think the United States would be happy over the offer of arms by Russia to the Arabs, Mr. Dulles added, however, that the Arab States were free and independent governments with authority to do whatever they think best.

Mr. Dulles was asked if U.S. economic aid under Mutual Security arrangements precluded Arab military arrangements with the Soviet Union. He replied that he did not think the terms of American aid to the Arabs prevented them from receiving Russian arms. He thought the Arabs were now getting military aid principally from non-Soviet sources.


Asked if Russian arms arrangement with the Arab League states was in keeping with the professed Soviet desire to relax international tension, Mr. Dulles said it certainly would not contribute toward the relaxation of tension.

A spokesman for the Soviet Embassy declined to comment today on the reported Soviet offer of munitions to Egypt and other Arab League states. He said the Embassy had nothing to say on this matter.

The Secretary of State confirmed that the United States, within the last 48 hours, has made direct representations in Israel and Egypt, urging both parties to refrain from the use of force in the Gaza vicinity. He said the American view was made known through diplomatic channels in the Egyptian and Israel capitals.

He said that as yet he had heard nothing from either side regarding the peace suggestions he outlined in a speech last Friday. No government has so far asked clarification, he said. He urged that his speech be considered a policy statement rather than a peace proposal. He said he was awaiting, Arab and Israel reactions.

Mr. Dulles declined to elaborate and explain a statement in his speech that President Eisenhower had authorized him to say “that given a solution of the other related problems, he would recommend that the United States join in formal treaty engagements to prevent or thwart any effort by either side to alter by force the boundaries between Israel and its Arab neighbors.” He explained that he did not think it appropriate to add anything of substance until reactions are received. The wording of speech, he indicated, was carefully considered and he only put into it what he deemed proper.

Mr. Dulles was asked if Vice President Richard M. Nixon, in his forthcoming trip to the Near East, would follow up the Dulles policy statement. He replied that Mr. Nixon was not going for that purpose but as an individual messenger of goodwill not charged with diplomatic responsibility. He said the trip and the policy statement developed independently and expressed belief that Mr. Nixon would not pursue the matter.


The Dulles policy declaration and the current Gaza area situation were discussed at the State Department today by Dr. Charles Malik, the Lebanese Ambassador, with George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Dr. Malik declined to discuss the Lebanese Government’s reaction to the Dulles declaration. He made known that he is leaving his post in Washington after 10 years of service.

A violent attack on the Dulles declaration by a member of Egypt’s ruling Revolutionary Council was reported here today. Cairo broadcasts said that Minister of State Anwar Sadat had condemned the policy statement as “impracticable” and serving Israel’s interests. The Egyptian said that Mr. Dulles had spoken only from the “Israel viewpoint.”

Interest was aroused here in a Jerusalem dispatch to the Christian Science Monitor which detailed the major points on which official Israelis feel further elucidation is necessary before Israel can give its reaction to the proposals.

In connection with the reference to boundaries, the Israelis ask if the Secretary of State has in mind minor mutual adjustment or major territorial concessions. They also ask, the paper reported, in what way the proposed United Nations-sponsored “security guarantee” would be more effective than the existing tripartite agreement.

The question is also raised, the paper reported, as to what assurances there would be that Israel’s compensation money to Arab refugees would be used for resettlement in view of the persistent opposition of Arab leadership to any substantial rehabilitation measures. The final major point raised by the Israelis, the newspaper added, was whether the proposed United Nations review of the Jerusalem situation was designed to repeal or revive the internationalization resolution.

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