WASHINGTON (Oct. 6)
Assistant Secretary of State George V. Allen flew back to Washington today from Lebanon after warning Arab leaders of the dangers of accepting arms from the Communist bloc. Mr. Allen did not persuade Egypt’s Premier Gamal Abdel Nasser to cancel his arms deal with Czechoslovkia. But, the U.S. envoy declared he thinks his flying mission to Egypt and Lebanon has alerted Arab leaders to the possibilities of increased Communist penetration in the Middle East.
Mr. Allen said on his departure from Lebanon that he thought his trip was fruitful “in clearing up misconceptions about U.S. policy.” He told newsmen one of the main reasons for the trip was to stress U.S. concern over the dangers of an arms race which would increase Arab-Israel tensions in the Middle East.
(The Times of London reported from Beirut today that Mr. Allen, in a conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karameh, offered Lebanon American arms on condition they would not be used for aggressive purposes and that an American training mission be permitted to enter Lebanon. The Times also stated that Mr. Allen told the Lebanese Prime Minister that Egypt had acted in her own interest in the arms deal with Czechoslovakia but that he had urged Premier Nasser not to enter into an anti-American campaign.)
Officials in Washington expressed surprise today over a statement in Cairo yesterday by Egyptian Premier Nasser to the effect that he had warned Washington in June he would accept arms from the Soviet bloc if the United States refused to provide weapons which Egypt had requested. The officials stated there was no hint at the American-Egyptian talks in June that the alternative to arms from the U.S. was arms from Communist countries.
The U.S. officials stressed that the Egyptian request, which included limited quantities of tanks, aircraft and artillery, was approved “in principle,” This meant that, if the Egyptians had been able to pay the price, they could have had the arms. The Egyptians at the end of June asked if they could pay in local currency or in cotton and were told this was not possible under the law. Although aware of the possibility, they did not ask for an “extended payment” credit arrangement.
U.N. URGED TO EXPRESS OPPOSITION TO CZECH-EGYPTIAN ARMS DEAL
Walter P. Reuther. C.L.O. president, today issued a statement urging the United Nations to express its opposition to the Czechoslovakian arms deal with Egypt. He also asked that the UN call all parties to explore every possible avenue for a peaceful settlement of Middle East differences.
Mr. Reuther said that he is gravely concerned lest an armament race be touched off between Egypt and Israel as a result of the announcement that Egypt is about to acquire armaments from Czechoslovakia. The solution for the difficulties, he said, is the development of a mutual security pact between Israel and its Arab neighbors to guarantee national borders and to insure peace and stability in the area.
He added that Secretary of State Dulles had announced the willingness of the U.S. to contribute to a stable settlement. The CIO believes that the suggestion which Sec. Dulles reiterated in his address at the UN General Assembly last week, “ought to be explored by all of the parties concerned in good faith to arrive at a solution, “Mr. Reuther said.