WASHINGTON (Jan. 14)
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said today the Congressional action on a policy to attack the basic problems of the Arab-Israel conflict would be premature at this time.
Testifying before a joint session of the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees of the Senate, Mr. Dulles said that the problems arising out of the unfriendly Arab-Israel relations are receiving urgent consideration, “but they do not seem to require legislative action at this time.” The Secretary of State testified be fore the joint Senate session on President Eisenhower’s request for stand-by authority to use U.S. forces against Communist aggression in the Middle East.
Mr. Dulles assured the Senate committees that the President’s proposal to supply arms to the area can be achieved without an arms race between the Arab States and Israel. He said the U.S. remains opposed to an arms race as declared by the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1956.
Mr. Dulles stated that the United Nations has now assumed primary responsibility for solving the Suez Canal and the Arab-Israel problem. He said the UN Secretary General is seeking an early resumption of talks about the future status of the canal, in accordance with the six principles adopted by the Security Council last October and agreed to by Egypt. He said the Secretary General is also “well aware of the problems of transit through the Gulf of Akaba and the status of the Gaza Strip.”
See. Dulles told the committees that the U.S. program to meet the basic problems of Arab-Israel relations, as outlined by himself in an address on August 26, 1955, has not yet “become practical of accomplishment.” The program dead with the establishment of permanent boundaries, the settlement of refugees, and the undertaking of major water and irrigation developments. Mr. Dulles said that when such a program is possible, it would require Senate treaty action and Congressional appropriations. “But,” he added, “unhappily the time for that is not yet here.”
In calling for quick Congressional approval of the President’s new Middle East plan, Secretary Dulles noted the increasing Soviet subversive activities in the Middle East. He said “Communist propaganda is vigorously at work. Its Arab language radio bombards the area. The output has recently one up by 50 percent. Communist sentiments find their way into the Arab press and radio of certain countries. The Soviet Union is portrayed as the “savior” of the area as against Western imperialism and as against Israel’s alleged expansionist ambitions.”
Under questioning, Secretary Dulles also went on record as saying that the Eisenhower plan currently envisages no substantial grant of economic aid to Egypt.