VIENNA (Jul. 10)
The Soviet Union will continue to send arms to the Arab countries, Nikita Khrushchev told a press conference here this week-end prior to his leaving Austria for Moscow. He said that Soviet arms will be sent particularly to the United Arab Republic “because some Western countries are continuing to rearm Israel.”
The Arab states, the Soviet leader stated, needed arms to protect their “positive neutrality.” He said that he had proposed to the Western Powers the stoppage of all arms shipments to the Middle East but, he claimed, the West only wanted to block Soviet shipments without halting their own arms shipments to Israel. The Soviet Union, he argued, thus was compelled to give support to countries in the Near East “in order to preserve the balance of power.”
The Soviet dictator became sarcastic when asked by a correspondent what Israel could do to improve relations with Moscow. He snapped back that he could not advise Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion since he believed that Ben-Gurion neither sought his advice nor would be pleased by that advice if it were given him. He made no reference to repeated attempts by Premier Ben-Gurion to visit Moscow and meet with him.
Mr. Khrushchev was infuriated by another question dealing with the status of the Jews within the Soviet Union. When he was asked if he would permit Russian Jews to leave the Soviet Union to be reunited with family members in other countries, he angrily replied that the Soviet Foreign Ministry had not received a single application from a Russian Jew for an emigration permit. On the other hand, he asserted, it was receiving many applications from Israel asking permission to immigrate to the Soviet Union. In any case, he said, “reuniting families” was a vague expression which did not mean anything.