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Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Defends Czech-egyptian Arms Deal

V. V. Kuznetsov, first deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union, this week-end reiterated his government’s previously announced position regarding the Czechoslovak-Egyptian arms deal, by declaring that it is a “purely commercial” arrangement and that all countries are “free to trade. “He made his statement in answer to questions after an address before the United Nations Correspondents Association, during which he cited the USSR’s proposals for disarmament.

The latest issue of “New Times,” Moscow weekly, distributed here today by the USSR delegation, declares in a two-page article that “every independent country has the right to safeguard its security by building up national armed forces equipped with modern weapons The Egyptian Government is actuated by the perfectly legitimate desire to create an army capable of protecting the security and independence of Egypt. “The article, written by E. Maximov, quotes extensively from the Arab press to buttress its thesis that the Czech arms deal is Cairo’s “legitimate right.”

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