WASHINGTON (Jun. 14)
Even though the Arab-Israel issue “continues to plague the area and threaten peace, ” a “relative calm” currently exists in the Near East, Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, testified today before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The testimony was delivered behind closed doors in an executive session. Mr. Talbot later disclosed elements of his testimony. He appeared before the committee in support of the Administration’s new request for $4. 8 billion in foreign aid funds.
Mr. Talbot told the committee that there are fewer Arab-Israel border incidents and other manifestations of tension. But, he pointed out, “these conditions of relative peace have not obscured our recognition of the underlying problems which stand in the way of an Arab-Israel peace, nor lessened our determination to be helpful in achieving progress on these problems. “
Mr. Talbot said he was pleased by some developments in the United Arab Republic, especially in the deterioration of UAR-Soviet relations. He felt the United States must take advantage of the opportunity to improve American-Arab relations. He said also that there have been “marked improvement in relations among the Arab countries. “