WASHINGTON (Oct. 9)
A report on the problem of Communist munitions supply to Egypt will be made by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles on Tuesday when he holds a conference with President Eisenhower in the President’s hospital room. This was learned today from State Department sources.
The main purpose of the Denver meeting will be to plan strategy for the Big Four foreign Ministers’ Conference which convenes in Geneva on October 27. But the emergence of the new Soviet “arms aid” strategy has injected a new element in international policy considerations.
George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, consulted with high-level officials here following his return on Friday by air from discussions with Egyptian Premier Nasser and other Arab leaders. According to State Department sources, he told Secretary Dulles that Col. Nasser was determined to go through with the Communist deal. Mr. Allen said Egypt promised, however, to restrict the activities and number of Communist technical personnel who will accompany the munitions to be imported from Czechoslovakia.
In the wake of Mr. Allen’s report, new consultations are expected among the powers subscribing to the principles of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950. The Declaration was aimed at preventing an arms race in the Near East that would upset the balance of power between Israel and the Arab states. The State Department has indicated no inclination to grant arms to Israel to redress the power imbalance created by the flow of Communist munitions to Egypt. Israel diplomatic representatives are expected to pursue the matter with Mr. Allen at the earliest opportunity.
A reappraisal of the entire American policy toward the Middle East was predicted here today in view of a statement made by the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia that his country was also offered Communist munitions. It is also known here that Syria is considering following Egypt’s example in acquiring arms from Communist countries. The possibility is also foreseen here that the Communist countries might also offer munitions aid to Israel in exchange for oranges or other Israeli products.
Officials here are seriously worried over the Soviet arms deal with Egypt as well as over the fact that Assistant Secretary of State Allen failed to convince Egyptian Premier Nasser to cancel the deal. Premier Nasser declined even to tell Mr. Allen the quantities of arms involved. It is considered unlikely here that Moscow will yield to the requests voiced by the United States and Britain that Communist countries abstain from supplying arms to the Arab countries so as not to increase Arab-Israel tension.