LONDON (Nov. 21)
Speeches directed against Israel marked the inaugural meeting today of the Council of the five-nation Baghdad Defense Alliance which links Britain, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan in a mutual security system against Soviet aggression. The Council meeting is taking place in Baghdad.
Premier Nuri Said of Iraq, in opening the meeting, declared that Iraq feels free to use its armed forces against Israel. “Iraq, “he said, “will not hesitate to use its resources for the assistance of any Arab state subjected to Israeli aggression in accordance with its obligation under the treaty of collective defense and economic cooperation between the states of the Arab League. ”
The Israel issue was also injected by the Turkish and Iranian Premiers in their speeches at today’s session. Referring to the Baghdad Pact, Turkish Premier Adnan Menderes said: “This pact has already taken the most important step toward providing for the security of the Middle East against the danger from the north. While we are thus gradually achieving progressive organization of the Middle East against the northern danger which threatens it, I cannot refrain from mentioning the question of Palestine which worries us all in view of the security and stability of this area. ” He added that the pact members all had the “duty to work for an equitable solution of the Palestine question.”
Iranian Premier Hussein Ala also brought up the Arab-Israel dispute, saying Iran is prepared to do all possible to cooperate in reaching a just settlement. “Iran earnestly trusts that the United Nations will be able to solve the dispute which exists between our Arab friends and Israel,” he said.
The State Department has maintained that adherence to the Baghdad Pact would lessen Iraq’s hostility toward Israel. The United States last week announced its “military and political liaison” with the Baghdad Pact. U.S. Ambassador W.J. Gallman today told the group the United States had announced support for the alliance of several occasions and that the presence of U.S. observers served as further evidence of such support.