WASHINGTON (Mar. 18)
The United States told Israel today it stands “firmly by the hopes and expectations” it expressed earlier this month on events following Israel’s withdrawal from the Akaba and Gaza areas. This was made known in a joint statement issued here by Secretary of State Dulles and Israel Foreign Minister Meir after a lengthy meeting. The joint statement indicated the likelihood of further talks.
On a definition of U.S. policy, Mr. Dulles referred Mrs. Meir to the March first United Nations address of Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and a letter sent by President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Ben Gurion on March 2. The United States was described as “concerned” with current developments. It is in close touch with UN Secretary General Hammarskjold and other members of the United Nations.
Mr. Dulles said the United States stood by the hopes and expectations it had expressed on the situation “which should prevail in the area with respect to the exercise of the responsibility of the United Nations in Gaza, the free and innocent passage of the Straits of Tiran by ships of all nations in accordance with international law and the settlement of the Suez Canal problem in accordance with the six principles adopted by the United Nations and accepted by Egypt.”
MRS. MEIR CITES EGYPTIAN MOVES IN GAZA STRIP
The Secretary held that the United States would continue using its influence to avoid any situation which would negate efforts to settle the current dispute in accord with United Nations Charter principles.
Mrs. Meir had directed attention to the reestablishment of Egyptian control over the Gaza Strip. She insisted that it was contrary to the assumptions and expectations expressed by her and others on March 1 at the United Nations and subsequently. She also expressed anxiety over reports and statements by Arab leaders indicating that restriction’s on Israel shipping will be resumed in the Straits of Tiran and Suez Canal.
Mrs. Meir, who was accompanied by Ambassador Abba S. Eban. Reuven Shiloah, Minister Plenipotentiary, and Gideon Rafael, member of Israel’s United Nations delegation, was with Mr. Dulles for about two hours. There followed immediately a discussion lasting about one and three quarter hours concerning the wording of the joint statement which follows:
TEXT OF JOINT DULLES DULLES MEIR STATEMENT
“Foreign Minister Meir discussed with Secretary Dulles today various aspects of the present situation in the Middle East, particularly developments in the Gaza Strip following Israel withdrawal in accordance with United Nations resolutions.
“Mrs. Meir expressed her deep concern at the return of Egypt to Gaza, the re-establishment of its control therein, and the reduction of the responsibilities of the United Nations in the Gaza area.
“The Foreign Minister of Israel pointed out the gravity with which Israel viewed this situation and emphasized it was contrary to the assumptions and expectations expressed by her and others in the United Nations on March 1 and subsequently. She also expressed her anxiety at reports and statements envisioning restrictions against Israel shipping in the Suez Canal and Gulf of Akaba and the maintenance of belligerency by Egypt.
“Secretary Dulles reaffirmed that the United States policy with respect to these matters continues to be as publicly expressed notably in the speech of Ambassador Lodge in the General Assembly on March 1 and in the President’s letter of March 2 to Prime Minister Ben Gurion.
“The Secretary said the United States was concerned with current developments and was in close touch with Secretary General Hammarskjold and other members of the United Nations.
“He said the United States would continue to use its influence in seeking the objectives of peace and tranquility and the avoidance of any situation which would negate the great efforts which have been made by the world community to settle the current dispute in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.