WASHINGTON (Jul. 17)
President Eisenhower told a press conference today that it was not necessarily true that Arab-Israel tensions have generally increased. He suggested that in the recent Syrian-Israeli clash there were indications both sides were ready to stop.
Mr. Eisenhower said, however, that shipment of arms by Russia into the area cannot possibly contribute to peace and lessening of tension. It must have the opposite effect, he said. The President made his comments in response to a question eliciting his view on whether Soviet arms deliveries to Syria and Egypt have contributed to an increase of Arab-Israel tension.
President Eisenhower’s remarks coincide with a report today from Cairo that a new three-country deal was under way to provide Syria with more arms from Communist Czechoslovakia. The new plan, the report said, calls for Syrian export of wheat to Egypt in exchange for some of Egypt’s cotton credits in Czecholovakia. Syria would use the credits to buy more arms. Syrian Defense Minister Khaled el Azem is en route to Prague and Moscow to close the deal, the Cairo report revealed.
State Department spokesman Lincoln White said today the United States was gratified at Israel’s decision to permit United Nations truce observers to occupy certain positions on the Israeli-Syrian frontier. He pointed out that the United States had favored this for some time. He was referring to an announcement by the United Nations that Israel has requested the establishment of UN “lockout posts” on her side of the Israeli-Syrian border. The posts, staffed by United Nations observers, have been set up on a thirty-day trial basis.