WASHINGTON (Jan. 24)
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles expressed today the view that large-scale arms shipments by East or West to the Arab-Israel area were not a contribution to peace. He told a press conference he always thought it was not in the interest of peace to have an arms race. Citing the 1950 Tripartite Declaration, he said the United States still adheres to it.
Mr. Dulles described the status of Israel’s arms purchase application as “still pending.” He said he would probably talk further about the matter with Israel Ambassador Abba Eban in the next few days. A question was raised about Defense Department reports that Yugoslavia has agreed to sell munitions to Egypt. Mr. Dulles declined direct comment saying he had no information on the matter.
(From Trieste it was reported today that Yugoslav President Tito had reached a secret agreement with Egyptian Premier Nasser to permit transit of Communist munitions through Yugoslavia. The report said the agreement would make Yugoslavia a “clearing house to facilitate Egyptian military contacts with the Soviet bloc. It revealed that Tito authorized shipment of war goods from Czechoslovak’s to Egypt via Rijeka, and that Rijeka was sealed off two hours last week when an Egyptian ship carrying 300 training officers docked. Rijeka is the former port of Fiume.)
Asked about America’s role in the event of aggression in the Middle East involving the Arab states and Israel, Mr. Dulles said the United States would take appropriate action within and outside the United Nations. He said if it were at all practical, this country would seek action through the United Nations before considering independent or individual action. There was a question, he said, as to whether United Nations action was feasible because of the Soviet Union’s attitude.
The Secretary was asked what action the Big Three Western Powers might take if the Security Council did not act. He indicated he felt it improper to speculate on that now. Questioned about matters to be discussed with British Prime Minister Anthony Eden. Mr. Dulles stated he could not give details. He said the Eden-Eisenhower meeting was designed to be general in character and that, according to the agenda, no specific agreements were to be reached.