WASHINGTON (Nov. 3)
A State Department spokesman today described American concern over the latest outbreak of Israel-Egyptian military action and said it was the opinion of the State Department that “the situation is getting worse.”
Speaking for the Department, Lincoln White said the United States was “concerned about these border incidents and are exploring ways and means by which the United Nations can be helpful in this situation.” He said “fortunately, there is on the spot a U. N. truce observation organization. One of the basic objectives of the United Nations is to cope with just such situations as this.”
Discussions were held in Washington and at the United Nations today, he made known, on emergency steps to be taken as a result of the eruption of serious fighting along the Israel-Egyptian frontier. Mr. White said that “conceivably” the matter will also be explored in Geneva.
American diplomats in Cairo and Israel are doing “everything” they can “to calm the tempers,” he said. He assumed approaches were made within the last 24 hours. American diplomats are continuing to urge “sobriety,” he said.
Mr. White revealed that the possibility of action by the United Nations Security Council was being “explored.” He made it plain that the Department’s Near Eastern experts feel the situation is deteriorating as a result of the latest incident. He said exploration of the problem here includes study of proposals on what can be done.
Asked if the State Department sees developments of the last 24 hours as still in the “incident” category, Mr. White replied that the most recent event was “still” regarded as “a border incident.” He stressed that the United Nations is the body to cope with the situation.