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Dulles Says Situation is Not Conducive to Speedy Middle East Settlement

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said today that the situation is not conducive to an early Arab-Israel settlement but that the United States would continue its efforts along the lines of the policy declaration he made on Aug, 26, 1955.

At the same time, an Administration spokesman, Presidential Assistant Sherman Adams, in a letter made public today expressed the belief that positive steps may “soon” be taken to end political conflict in the Middle East.

Mr. Dulles told his press conference that the United States had certainly hoped for a settlement of the economic, refugee and other problems in the Near Eastern area. The United States position today, he said, remains the same as he expressed it in August 1955. At that time, he proposed that the United States would “join in formal treaty engagements to guarantee the borders of Israel and the Arab States, given a solution to related problems.” He noted that such a guarantee would require the formal fixing of borders and noted that the then current frontiers were the product of the armistice agreements of 1949, and hence, not necessarily the permanent borders.

Mr. Dulles also indicated that an international loan might be made to Israel to finance payment of compensation to Arab refugees, with “substantial participation by the United States.” He also stressed the need to review the status of Jerusalem.

Commenting on current Arab-Israel peace prospects, Mr. Dulles said that events had led to deferment of America’s hopes. The situation, he said, is presently not conducive to a settlement at an early date. He added that efforts would be continued along the lines of last year’s proposals.

TROOP WITHDRAWALS MAY MAKE POSITIVE STEPS POSSIBLE, ADAMS SAYS

Mr. Adams, in a letter to B’nai B’rith, said that the withdrawal of British, French and Israel troops from Egyptian territory offered hope for settling their disputes with the Arab states.

Mr. Adams said, “although the United States Government opposed the resort to force in the Near East by Britain, France, and Israel, this did not impair our basic friendship with these nations nor our determination to retain and to strengthen the bonds among us.

“With the announced intention of Britain, France and Israel to withdraw their forces from Egyptian territory, we-feel the way may soon be open to take positive steps designed to eliminate the sources of tension in the Near East.”

Mr. Adams wrote Philip M. Klutznick, president of B’nai B’rith, that “United States foreign policy seeks the friendship of Israel and the other states in the Near East.”

Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein, chairman of the American Zionist Council for Public Affairs in a meeting today with William Rountree, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, urged the United States to press for an early Arab-Israel peace settlement. He expressed concern over recent anti-Israel statements by Pakistan and Iraq and urged the Government to continue efforts to halt persecution of the Jews in Egypt.

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