LONDON (Jun. 19)
The United States has decided to force a showdown with Egypt and Saudi Arabia and to do some “plain talking” to them, the British press reports today.
King Saud, according to Washington dispatches in London newspapers, will be told by the State Department that the United States will not stand for being blackmailed at an ever increasing rate for the use of air bases in Saudi Arabia. If King Saud is not prepared to negotiate a “more common sense agreement,” the United States will abandon the bases and cease paying rent for them, the reports indicate.
Egypt’s ruler Col. Nasser will be told that the U. S. Government is not prepared to provide funds for the A swam Dam project without some definite indications of friendship toward the West, the Washington reports reveal. They assert that it will be indicated to Col. Nasser that if he prefers to do business with Russia on the projected dam, the United States will not be unduly disturbed.
“These developments do not mean that the United States is going to surrender its interests in the Middle East,” on report says. “On the contrary, the U. S. wants a settlement of the Arab-Israel problem, but Washington officials have decided that a showdown is necessary. They consider Col. Nasser’s flirtation with Russia an attempt to develop pan Arabism into an anti-Western force.”
The British Foreign Office said today that Britain now has some doubts about Egypt’s ability to pay for its share of the $1,300,000,000 Aswan Dam. A spokesman told a reporter that the U.S., Britain, and the World Bank have to review with Egypt the financing of the giant undertaking.