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Former U.S. Ambassador in Israel Warns Congress on Middle East

Greater American vigilance in the Middle East was urged in Congress today by Representative Ogden Reid, New York Republican and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, in connection with the current pro-Nasser developments in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Rep. Reid said that these developments were “moves directed substantially toward a strong military alliance against a backdrop of inflammatory propaganda.” He cited the proposal advanced by Iraq for a joint military command of the armies of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria, efforts looking toward a closer merger or union of Iraq, Syria and Egypt and “inflammatory propaganda” by the new President of Yemen calling on the peoples of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to overthrow their Kings.

Rep. Reid said that while the United States had persistently encouraged closer peaceful cooperation among the countries in the Middle East and welcomed planning for coordinated economic development, the political and military pattern which was “slowly emerging” could be “a matter for serious concern.” He added that the re-statement by Secretary of State Dean Rusk “of our concern for the independence and security of Jordan and Saudi Arabia was therefore most pertinent and timely.”

Rep. Reid reminded the House that the formation on October 23, 1956, of a Joint Command of Egypt and Syria with the stated purpose of “the liquidation of Israel” in large measure triggered action by the Government of Israel in Sinai–as Israel believed its security was threatened and that its survival was at stake, Mr. Reid told the House, and that this required action by Israel “in self-defense.”

He said the President should instruct American ambassadors “to reaffirm that our policy embraces friendly and peaceful relations with all countries” in the area and that “any threat to the peace will result in prompt action by the United States consistent with the United Nations Charter.”

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