LONDON (May. 21)
The Arab plan to divert the tributaries of the Jordan River as a step to hamper Israel’s tap of the river for its National Water Carrier project is now being implemented, Sadah Al Ahmed, the Kuwait Foreign Minister, asserted here today. He said that a special appropriation for the purpose was made after the Cairo summit meeting of heads of 13 Arab states last January.
Informed sources here said that Kuwait had paid to date at least 250,000 pounds sterling ($700,000) for the first stage of the diversion project, which will cost an estimated 6,000,000 pounds ($16,800,000). It was indicated that the diversion project has reached the blueprint stage in Arab capitals, but that no actual digging will start until a unified Arab military command is set up to prevent “any Israeli counteraction.”
The Kuwait official, who came to London to discuss the Jordan River water issue, said that, in his talks with Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the Prime Minister, and Foreign Secretary R.A. Butler, he had not asked for assistance but only for British neutrality in the water dispute. It was pointed out here that neutrality was in fact the official British attitude, subject to the reservation that, if either side took military action, Britain would ask for United Nations intervention.