WASHINGTON (Jul. 24)
Egyptian reports of secret Israeli talks with Arab states friendly to the United States were described today by State Department spokesman Lincoln White as “self-serving propaganda which has no basis in fact.”
Cairo reports had alleged that the United States is acting as mediator in talks between Israel and Arab states opposed to Egypt and Syria. The purported talks were about “resettlement of Arab refugees in Iraq.” Mr. White said today the United States knows of no such talks. He noted, however, that the United States favors all peaceful efforts to resolve Arab-Israel problems including direct conversations.
State Department sources said Egypt and Syria are attempting to inflame the Arab masses against the anti-Nasser leaders of other Arab states by alleging that a plot is underway in collusion with Israel and the United States against the interests of Arab refugees now living in Jordan.
(Both Israeli and Jordan sources denied an earlier Egyptian-inspired report that negotiations were being held in Rome between Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq on resettlement of the Arab refugees. Shimon Peress, Director General of the Israeli Defense Ministry said he questioned authenticity of the report and labeled it the product of the internal Arabian conflict by which Egypt was seeking to smear Jordan in the Arab world. The Jordan legation in Rome flatly called the report untrue.)