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Eban Confers with State Department on Soviet Submarines in Egypt

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The arrival of Soviet submarines in Egypt was believed to have been among topics discussed today when Israel Ambassador Abba Eban met with William Rountree, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

At least two of the three submarines furnished by Russia to Egypt have “atomic capabilities,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh A. Burke said today. But he doubted that atomic warheads came along with the submarines. He made known it has been established that the two big “W” class U-boats were big enough to carry atomic missile launching equipment and said it was “certainly possible” that they were equipped with launching devices.

Official sources revealed receipt of information that Egyptian crews are operating the three submarines provided by the Soviet Union to Egypt. These sources said the Egyptians were picked members of Egypt’s Navy trained secretly at the Polish naval base of Gdynia for six months. The crews will need further intensive training, it was said. They are described as not yet sufficiently trained to operate the U-boats on a combat basis.

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