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Increasing Arab-israel Tensions Seen by High State Dept. Official

Border incidents between Israel and its neighbors “have in recent months increased in frequency, and tensions over the Jordan River water issue, and the build-up of arms have risen,” Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs today.

Testifying before the committee on behalf of the foreign aid bill, Mr. Talbot reported that “restiveness produced by political, social and economic change in all countries of the area is compounded by smouldering Arab-Israeli hostility.”

Mr. Talbot told the Congressmen that the Yemen issue remains unresolved and American relations with Egypt were troubled by recent developments, including Egyptian support of the pro-Communist Congolese rebels. He said these problems, however, did not alter United States foreign policy objectives “to help create the conditions in which an enduring Middle East peace can be obtained, and to continue to help the countries resist Soviet penetration efforts.” He stressed that American objectives in the area remain unchanged, although the present atmosphere is “far from tranquil.”

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