WASHINGTON (Nov. 17)
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, upon his return today from Geneva, refused to comment on Israel’s arms request. He told newsmen that he had not heard anything about it. It is considered certain that the views he brings from Geneva will have an important bearing on deliberations here on the request for arms submitted to the State Department yesterday by Israel Ambassador Abba Eban.
Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson said today that his department will “carry out promptly” whatever decision is reached by President Eisenhower on the weapons list presented by Israel. He added that he had not seen the list as yet.
Important State Department officials indicated today that early action is not anticipated on the arms list submitted yesterday by Ambassador Eban. They said that the United States wishes to avoid an “arms race” and feels that Israel is still stronger than the combined Arab forces despite the Czech-Egyptian deal. The question, therefore, will be considered and discussed “without undue haste,” they declared.
State Department sources also indicated today that Arab threats to turn to the Soviet bloc for military supplies in the event that the United States sells arms to Israel are being given serious consideration. These sources depict American strategy as based on winning Egypt and other Arab states away from Soviet influence.