WASHINGTON (Apr. 9)
President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles held an urgent conference today on the Israel-Egyptian situation just prior to Mr. Eisenhower’s departure for a vacation in Georgia. The President delayed the flight in order to discuss the growing border friction between Egypt and Israel.
Later, the White House issued a statement declaring that President Eisenhower regarded the situation in the Middle East “with the utmost seriousness” and that the United States “will observe its commitments within constitutional means to oppose any aggression” in that area. The U. S. Government, the statement said, is “determined to support and assist any nation which might be subjected to such aggression.” President Eisenhower expressed confidence “that other nations will act similarly in the cause of peace.” He promised the “fullest support” to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold in his “peace mission.”
Simultaneously, Secretary Dulles, acting with the express authority and approval of President Eisenhower, today asked Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to a meeting tomorrow to discuss the Arab-Israel war threat. The meeting was arranged when Mr. Dulles conferred with the President. It is possible that Secretary Dulles may inform the Congressmen of the steps the United States plans in case of Arab-Israel hostilities.
U. S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL SUMMONED TO WASHINGTON FOR CONSULTATIONS
At the same time, it was announced today by the State Department the U. S. Ambassador Edward B. Lawson has been summoned from Israel to Washington for urgent consultations on the continuing violence in the Gaza area. The date of Ambassador Lawson’s departure from Israel was not indicated.
The State Department also announced that American diplomatic representatives in Israel and Egypt have made representations to the governments to which they are accredited, emphasizing that the United States fully supports Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, UN truce chief, in his efforts to prevent further strife in the Gaza vicinity. In these representations, the United States did not try to fix the blame for the recent fighting, but attempted to achieve a cease-fire, State Department spokesman Lincoln White said.
Mr. White revealed that the State Department has not yet made a determination as to which side is responsible for the outbreak of the fighting. Preliminary reports on the shootings have been received in Washington from the UN. he stated. He pointed out the current Egyptian-Israel clashes underline the urgency of the peace mission under taken by Mr. Hammarskjold at the Security Council’s request.