UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Sep. 27)
The United States Government’s announcement of agreeing to let Israel have ground-to-air missiles created the biggest sensation here today since the General Assembly convened 10 days ago. There seemed to be not a single diplomat or ranking Secretariat official here who was not discussing the development excitedly.
On the whole, it appeared that the majority of Westerners, Latin Americans, Asians and Africans approved of the United States step, although there was some head-shaking over what many called the “expansion of the arms escalation” in the Middle East. The majority of diplomats and other officials refused to speak for publication, however.
Two who were willing to be quoted by name were Professor G. P. Malalasekera, of Ceylon, who lost his race for the presidency of the Assembly this year, and Ahmad Shukairy, of Saudi Arabia. Prof. Malalasekera stated: “Things like this don’t help the situation.” Mr. Shukairy, who visited Moscow just before coming to this year’s Assembly, fancies himself as the prime spokesman for the Arab bloc. He said bitterly: “This is sheer hypocrisy by the United States. They talk of disarmament here at the UN and at the same time help Israel.”
Israelis were not talking for publication, letting the events speak for themselves. They pointed out that their Government’s official foreign policy positions, on all important matters, will be revealed here October 9, the day after Yom Kippur, when Mrs. Golda Meir, the Foreign Minister, is scheduled to deliver her annual address here during the General Assembly’s “general debate.”
Today, Mrs. Meir was busy continuing her intensive round of conferences. Having talked for an hour and a half yesterday with U. S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, she conferred today with Adlai E. Stevenson, head of the U. S. delegation here. Later, she met for the first time this trip, with Acting Secretary General U Thant.