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Secretary Rusk Explains U.S. Policy on Supplying Arms to Israel

Secretary of State Dean Rusk told a press conference today that it was the policy of the United States not to be active in supplying arms to Israel, because this country uses its influence in attempts to “put a ceiling” on arms race in that area.

Mr. Rusk declined to answer a question as to whether the United States would undertake to supply the arms which Israel lost because of the West German cancelation of its contract.

Explaining the reasons of the United States not involving itself directly as a supplier of arms to Israel, Mr. Rusk said this country is interested in a reasonable balance of armed forces in the Near East. Western Europe is the primary supplier for Israel, he said. He stressed that the United States tried not to be actively involved in furnishing arms to Israel, although there had been some exceptions in the past.

The Secretary also said the United States has not looked with favor on the reception accorded East German Communist leader Walter Ulbricht by Egypt, because the United States considers Bonn the responsible German Government and the U.S.A. does not favor any treatment of East Germany that enhances the position of the Communist regime or undermines Bonn.

Deputy Prime Minister Abba Eban of Israel said today after a 45-minute meeting with Undersecretary of State George Ball that a general conversation took place on matters of mutual interest. He declined to elaborate, stating it was a courtesy call. He would also not respond to questions on the visit of special envoy W. Averell Harriman to Israel. He was accompanied by Ambassador Avraham Harman.

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