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Eisenhower Informs Arab Rulers of U.S. Stand on Akaba Issue

President Eisenhower has written personal letters not only to Arabian King Saud but to heads of other Arab states to calm rising Arab resentment over American support of Israeli shipping rights in the Gulf of Akaba. This was reported here today in official circles.

The President is understood to have restated the American position in general support of Israel’s right to use the gulf. A major difference exists between America and the Arabs on the definition of Arab territorial waters. The United States holds to the view that a three-mile limit prevails while the Arabs maintain their territorial waters extend six miles thus covering the narrow entrance to the gulf.

A report from Cairo said this week-end that Saudi Arabia has begun fortifying the entrance to the Gulf of Akaba. The report said the Saudis are placing heavy artillery at the gulf entrance. If true, the report points up the face that Saudi Arabia has taken over from Egypt the burden of the Akaba Gulf issue.