WASHINGTON (Jun. 17)
U.S. naval authorities today declined comment on reports that Soviet Russia has delivered three submarines to Egypt. The reports, received here today, predicted possible efforts to use the submarines to halt Israeli shipping in the Akaba Gulf by blockading the Red Sea approaches.
Skepticism was expressed here in naval quarters that the Egyptian navy had personnel trained and competent to operate the Russian submarines. If facts emerge to show that Russian sailors are manning the submarines, it is expected that Washington’s interest will be dramatically intensified.
(The Jerusalem correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph reported today that “Egyptian naval maneuvers in the Red Sea” were being very carefully watched by Israel. The correspondent asserted that Egypt has sent into the Red Sea bigger and faster ships than the two Israeli frigates stationed at Elath. He wrote that the main reason for the maneuvers appeared to be Cairo’s desire to react energetically to the efforts of Kings Saud and Hussein to bar Mecca passage by sea, which hits at profits to Egypt and Syria from the pilgrim trade.)