State Dept. Reaffirms Stand on Freedom of Transit Through Suez Canal
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State Dept. Reaffirms Stand on Freedom of Transit Through Suez Canal

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The State Department has reaffirmed that it “firmly supports the principle of freedom of transit through the Suez Canal as an international waterway before international forums and to the Government of the United Arab Republic,” Sen, Kenneth B. Keating of New York disclosed this week-end.

The department, in a letter to Sen. Keating, reaffirming its position, pointed out that neither the World Bank nor its directors had yet made any decision on a projected $40,000,000 loan to the UAR to improve the canal. The New Yorker had asked that the loan be not granted unless the UAR guaranteed to remove restrictions on Israeli shipping through the waterway.

Assistant Secretary of State William B. Macomber Jr., said the State Department’s view would continue to be set forth “in various appropriate international agencies, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).” He expressed continued support of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s efforts to find a solution and voiced the hope that “aided by counsel of the United Nations and of other friendly countries, including the United States, progress toward a solution of the current restrictions on such transit can be obtained.”

(In New York, the Society for Prevention of World War III revealed it had asked Secretary of State Herter to oppose the projected loan to the UAR as long as the UAR’s control of the Suez Canal was “guided primarily by political considerations” and Israeli shipping was blockaded.)

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