JERUSALEM (Mar. 20)
A high-ranking Soviet diplomat in Israel was reported here today as having stated that Israel has no chance of receiving from the West the same quantity of arms that the Arabs are getting from Soviet bloc countries. The unnamed Soviet diplomat made this statement to a representative of Haaretz, one of Israel’s leading daily newspapers.
According to Haaretz, the Soviet diplomat said: “We have attained supremacy over the West in armaments. Missiles and other modern weapons that we have developed have made conventional weapons obsolete. We don’t know ourselves what to do with those conventional materials. We must either throw them away, for smelting, or sell them to less-developed countries and thus win friends.”
The diplomat indicated that the Soviet Union would not agree to an arms embargo or to disarmament limited to the Middle East. “The entire problem,” he is quoted as saying, “can be solved only through a general disarmament agreement.”
The Soviet representative also reportedly confirmed earlier reports to the effect that, at the forthcoming summit meetings, the USSR will not be ready to guarantee the status quo in the Middle East.
Addressing himself apparently to Israel, the Soviet diplomat told the Haaretz representative: “Abandon your exclusive ties with the West, change your policy–so that you will receive arms both from us and from the West, like the Arabs get. Why are you stubbornly leaning on one foot only?”