Top State Dept. Officials to Testify on Mid-east Policy This Week

Two top Administration officials will be called this week to testify before a Congressional subcommittee on United States policy in the Middle East, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.

(In Jerusalem today, Avraham Harman, Israel Ambassador to Washington, attended the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, and reported on current relations between the United States and Israel. Previously, he had participated in a secret series of high-level consultations with Mrs. Golda Meir, the Israeli Foreign Minister, and Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative at the United Nations. He also reported on the Washington-Jerusalem situation to the foreign affairs and security committee of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.)

Invitations to Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Harlan Cleveland, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, have gone out from Democratic Congressman L.H. Fountain, of North Carolina, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on the Near East. The two officials are scheduled to testify at a closed-door hearing of the subcommittee on Wednesday afternoon.

The hearing is an outgrowth of a demand last month by a member of the subcommittee, Democratic Congressman Leonard Farbstein, of New York, that Administration officials be asked to tell the House unit what “motivated” U.S. sponsorship of the United Nations Security Council resolution to censure Israel last month, as well as the U.S. vote last December in the United Nations General Assembly, opposing a 16-nation resolution calling. for direct Israel-Arab peace talks.

Mr. Farbstein had expressed a fear that U.S. actions in the United Nations, during the past few months, signal the adoption of a new Middle Eastern policy which, he said, “cannot serve the cause of peace.”

The Kennedy Administration’s policy of economic aid to the United Arab Republic took concrete form here this weekend, when the International Monetary Fund announced it had allowed the Egyptian Government to borrow $42,500,000 from the Fund, as well as to defer payments on $29,000,000 worth of previous “drawings” due next January and March. The Fund is a United Nations Specialized Agency holding a pool of $15,000,000,000 worth of gold and currencies from 75 member states. However, the U.S.A. has a decisive influence on loans–these are called “drawings”–by the IMF.

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