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Kennedy’s Approach to Nasser on Arab-israel Issue Disclosed

President Kennedy was disclosed today to have told President Nasser of Egypt shortly after he took office that his administration wanted to find an honorable solution to the Arab-Israel dispute.

President Kennedy made that statement in an exchange of letters with Nasser in 1961. Details of the letters were published in the Times of London today. The President’s letter was dated May 11, 1961. In his reply, dated August 8, 1961, Nasser told President Kennedy that he did not insist that a complete identity of views on that issue was a necessary prerequisite to Egypt’s reaching an understanding with the United States.

In his letter to President Kennedy, Nasser criticized “local political considerations hardly related to American principles or American interests on a world level. He said that “the attempt to gain Jewish votes in the Presidential elections was such a motive.” Nasser also told Mr. Kennedy: “I have followed with interest every time you referred to this problem in your speeches in Congress, both at the time when you were representing the State of Massachusetts and during the Presidential elections.”

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