WASHINGTON (Dec. 20)
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles reiterated at his press conference today that he knows of no facts that can justify any great optimism about an Arab-Israel peace. He added that the recent Israel-Syrian clash set back American hopes for such a peace, but indicated satisfaction that his proposals of August 26 were being studied now.
Mr. Dulles announced that a special new flexible fund of $100,000,000, in addition to economic aid for the Near East, will be asked of Congress. Money for the construction of the Egyptian Aswan Dam will come from this fund, he said. He explained that the United States support of the dam did not result from Egypt’s playing off the Soviet Union against the United States, but that American interest in the project went back two years. He characterized American aid to Egypt on the dam as a “normal evolution” and not just a response to Soviet activity.
Secretary Dulles stated he did not expect an increase in military aid for the Middle East in the coming year. He said he expected military expenditures must go on for several years to maintain military supply pipelines that are being built in countries in the region, and that appropriations must be maintained to assure a smooth flow.