WASHINGTON (Nov. 14)
President Eisenhower indicated at his press conference today that as soon as the present Egyptian situation is out of the way, he is going to intensify efforts to bring about trade and closer contacts between the Arab states and Israel. He stressed that their economies were mutually dependent.
Amplifying his statement, Mr. Eisenhower said the idea of trade between the Arabs and Israel was a long term question and that he would not be able to do it quickly. He denied that U. S. policy in the Middle East had drifted.
The President said he believed an offer made by Secretary of State Dulles last year to guarantee the Arab-Israel frontiers still stood. But he recalled that prior conditions were attached to such a guarantee, and that if such conditions were met, he could see no reason why we would not offer the guarantee. (The conditions called for Arab agreement with Israel on boundaries.)
The United States has tried and will continue to try to be friends to every nation in the area ready to abide with the United Nations, the President stated. He made clear that American wished to befriend both sides in the Arab-Israel dispute in the interests of peace.
The President said there is no authentic information on any new Russian military equipment moving into the Middle East. He said there was a dispersion of the Egyptian air force to fields in other countries during the attack on Egypt and that some of these planes were of Russian manufacture. But, he indicated, such planes were supplied some time ago.
Asked about the course America would follow if Russian “volunteers” joined the Arabs, Mr. Eisenhower said he was not going to say the United States would make a unilateral decision. It was up to the United Nations to make a decision in that event, he said, adding that we would support the UN. Mr. Eisenhower explained that in the event of Russian “volunteers” appearing he did not know exactly what we would do and that action would depend on the circumstances.