WASHINGTON (Feb. 12)
The question of Israel’s irrigation project, which is meeting with strong Arab opposition but is favorably looked upon by the United States Government in the light of the regional irrigation plan for Israel and the neighboring Arab countries proposed by the late Eric Johnston as special U.S. envoy, may come up for discussion between President Johnson and British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas Home during their two day talks which started here today.
Meanwhile, it was stressed here today that none of the Arab countries has so far displayed any interest in the offer made by President Johnson of American cooperation with all countries in the Middle East in research on the use of nuclear power for water desalination. In announcing last week the talks between the United States and Israel on desalination cooperation, President Johnson personally. Arab officials, in their contacts with American diplomats, have similarly echoed the violent tone of the Arab press on the subject.
MOSCOW LINKS ISRAEL TO ANGLO-AMERICAN EFFORTS IN CYPRUS
Soviet propaganda, emanating from Moscow, is strengthening Arab incitement against American-Israel cooperation in research on desalination. At the same time, the Moscow radio linked up today Israel with the Anglo American efforts to bring peace to Cyprus in the dispute there.
It was noted here today that the propaganda line, linking Israel with the Anglo-American efforts in Cyprus, is being followed simultaneously on the radio stations in the Arab capitals, particularly Cairo, and in Moscow. Whether this was coordinated in advance or one took a cue from the other is still not entirely certain. It is established, however, that the propaganda utterances of both sides are almost identical on this specific subject.
Moscow Radio, in its denunciation of the Anglo-American and NATO efforts in Cyprus, also declared that “The national liberation movement of Cyprus cannot be stopped all the more because the Arab countries, for instance, are not all interested in the strengthening of NATO countries on Cyprus, as they understand that turning Cyprus into a NATO base would also turn the island into a bridgehead against the independent Arab countries, and strengthen the Israeli bridgehead of imperialism in the Near East.”
Significantly, Moscow Radio’s broadcast in Arabic espoused the above line even before it was presented on its Russian and English programs. Moreover, the Arabic programs were even more explicit in linking Israel with the Cyprus question. Alleging that “Washington is very much interested in infiltrating Cyprus to execute from there its policy in the Middle East,” the Arab broadcasts referred to the statement made recently in Washington by the high State Department official Alexis Johnson in which he defined the attitude of the American Government toward the Arab-Israeli dispute.
Elaborating on this statement, the Arab broadcasts indicate that the United States can easily intervene with military force from Cyprus in case of an Arab war against Israel. They refer to a statement allegedly made by former President Eisenhower that the U.S. has a right to intervene in an Arab-Israel military conflict under the Tripartite Agreement signed between the United States, Britain and France guaranteeing the existing Arab- Israel borders.