State Department Warns Arab Embassy Against Improper Agitation

The State Department has issued a warning to charge d’affaires Fathi Sawfat of the Iraqi Embassy because of his attempt to pressure Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, wife of the Vice-President, into withdrawing from honorary chairmanship of an Israel Bonds function held here.

The Department revealed this today to Sen. Hugh Scott, Pennsylvania Republican, who had questioned the propriety of the Arab diplomat’s conduct in a strong protest to the Secretary of State. Sen. Scott was informed that the Iraqi had been summoned to the Department, officially informed of the displeasure of the United States Government, and served with tacit notice that any further improper agitation could result in his being declared persona non grata.

Mrs. Johnson had rejected the Arab demands and continued her support of the Israel Bond campaign. She told the offending Arab that she backed worthy causes “without distinction as to religion, race or region, and certainly including-all states of the Near East.” She added that “I shall continue to do so.” The Vice-President was informed of the State Department’s action.

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