WASHINGTON (Apr. 17)
President Eisenhower pointed out to his press conference today that the United States could go to the aid of Jordan in the event of aggression by either Israel or the Soviet Union. The President said the 1950 Tripartite Declaration could be applied if Israel attacked Jordan, while the United States might support Jordan under the Eisenhower Doctrine if Communist aggression occurred.
(From Jerusalem it was reported that President Eisenhower’s statement in Washington this morning that the United States would go to the aid of Jordan if that country were attacked by either Israel or the Soviet Union, aroused little interest in Israel. Israelis feel that international trouble is not imminent and that any implied warning by Mr. Eisenhower should concern Syria and possibly other Arab states because the United States is aware that Israel has no intention of intervening in Jordan.)
President Eisenhower indicated that if the Arabs interfered with U. S. ships in the Gulf of Akaba, the United States would look to the World Court. He said the United States had announced its readiness to consider Akaba Gulf an international waterway and will continue to so consider it until a World Court rules otherwise.
He insisted that the United States had not changed its policy on maritime passage through the Gulf or the Suez Canal but he had not heard of U. S. ships having asked permission to transit the contested waters to Elath. Nor had he heard of a reported U. S. undertaking to avoid the Akaba Gulf while negotiating on Suez. Mr. Eisenhower said the United States still has some hope of solving the general Suez issue without resort to the United Nations Security Council.
EBAN CONFERS WITH STATE DEPARTMENT ON PASSAGE THROUGH SUEZ
Israel Ambassador Abba Eban stressed today the importance of the maintenance of Israel’s shipping rights in the Suez Canal controversy. He discussed this and other issues today in an hour-long meeting with William Rountree, Assistant-Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
Mr. Ebar said impressions were exchanged of the situation in Jordan. But he declined to comment on President Eisenhower’s press conference statement of today indicating that America might aid Jordan in the event of Jordanian-Israel hostilities. He said he first wanted to see the full text of the statement.
The Ambassador told newsmen of the Akaba Gulf shipping question–that he thought too much was being made of alleged misunderstandings and procedural complexities involving the transit of U. S. shipping. He said he knew of no misunderstanding between Israel and the United States on that matter. He indicated that in the course of normal commerce another U. S. ship might visit Elath.
Mr. Eban sought to impress Mr. Rountree with the importance of maintaining international law on Suez and referred to Security Council resolutions and the 1888 convention. He said the canal could not be “merely an Egyptian lake.” Israel, he stated, had the same rights to use the canal as any other nation. He emphasized the importance of avoiding Suez discrimination against Israel shipping. On economic aid, Ambassador Eban said it was known that such aid would be resumed but that more detailed action must be awaited.