TUCKER'S TOWN, Bermuda (Mar. 21)
Middle East problems, figuring high on the agenda of the Eisenhower-Macmillan meetings, came under scrutiny by the two statesmen today as their four-day conference got under way.
The President and the British Prime Minister, at their meeting this morning, launched into immediate consideration of these questions. A joint communique issued at the close of the session said that they exchanged views on the following “urgent questions” – first, the Gaza Strip, second, the Gulf of Akaba, third, the Suez Canal. All three points were referred to the experts who were to report later to the resumed meeting.
The British delegation here, making no secret of the fact that it considers Nasser of Egypt a threat to the entire Middle East, seeks coordinated American-British efforts against the Egyptian dictator. Sentiment among the Americans here, however, favors concentrating on settlement of Middle East issues regardless of Nasser’s individual role.
The difference between the British and American approaches as developed here, is the difference between the policy of Secretary of State Dulles of appeasing the Arabs and Prime Minister Harold MacMillan’s stand in favor of a sterner policy.
(Agency reports in the London press tonight suggested that the British delegation was coming around to the American view that United Nations troops should be stationed on Israel soil as well as on the Egyptian side. )
Mr. Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles are keeping in close touch with Washington on the Gaza situation and will study the results of United Nations Secretary General Hammarskjold’s Cairo talks before clarifying their final stand on the Middle East.