WASHINGTON (Jul. 16)
Secretary of State Dulles today indicated that other nations might now play a more productive role in seeking Arab-Israel peace. However, he declined to name the nations he had in mind. Indicating doubt as to whether the Unite-States should take as prominent a part, he said this matter was under constant study and that the United States was in touch with its friends.
Mr. Dulles told a press conference that the United States made clear in 1955 that its good offices were available to both sides in the Middle Eastern controversy. But the situation has since changed, he said, noting that the United States today is making its presence felt in the region to a greater extent. It may be that other nations might play. more productive role in the quest for peace, he declared.
The Secretary stressed that the Eisenhower Doctrine was not concerned with seeking an Arab-Israel peace nor was it designed for that purpose. He regarded the Arab-Israel. issue as a matter separate from the Doctrine’s scope. The shipment of jet planes by Egypt to Saudi Arabia was a matter that obviously deserved and received consideration, he stated. However, he added that he had no reason to believe that relations established with King Saud during his visit to Washington have been altered.
There was clearly a difference of opinion on the Akaba Gulf issue, Mr. Dulles stated He pointed out that the Arab position is based on a contention that the boundaries of the Arab states bordering the gulf are recognized as permanent while Israel’s boundaries are not. Therefore, he said, the Arabs feel they have a right to close the gulf to Israeli ship ping. There was a certain plausibility to the Arab argument, Mr. Dulles added, but this was not the position of the United States, he said.
American differences with other nations on the law of the sea, including the question of the three-mile territorial limit, were noted by Mr. Dulles. He told how American views were not always shared by other nations. But differences between friends should not turn them into enemies, he said. He did not think there was any development in the Middle East which should alter the policy of providing U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia agreed, upon when King Saud visited Washington.
The basic American views on regional peace were stated in August, 1955, Mr. Dulle said. Since then nothing has changed the fundamental American position although it may be necessary to adopt new procedures, he stated.