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Italian Proposal for Middle East Fund Needs Study, Dulles Says

Secretary of State Dulles told a press conference today that he approves the basic objectives of an Italian proposal to create a special fund for Middle Eastern development.

While he found it a useful suggestion and acceptable concept, Mr. Dulles said the proposal needed more careful study. He agreed with Italian Foreign Minister Giuseppe Pella that more needs to be done to aid underdeveloped areas. Mr. Dulles also agreed that European nations have legitimate grounds for special concern for the healthy development of the Middle East because of their close relationship to that area.

The Secretary of State said a question existed as to how to work out such a program and whether a NATO label would be acceptable. There was also a question whether it should be financed, as proposed by Italy, through Marshall Plan loan repayments.