WASHINGTON (Jun. 23)
Sen. Ernest Gruening, Alaska Democrat, today charged in a Senate speech that the Administration’s resumption of aid to Egypt revealed that “the State Department is again up to its old game of appeasing Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser.”
Denouncing the renewal of aid to Egypt, Sen. Gruening said it was ironic to depict Nasser as improving relations when he is doing “more to destroy the peace of the Middle East” than any other man. He said Egypt waged aggression in Yemen and continues to do so with 50,000 troops while constantly threatening that he is preparing for the final war against Israel.
The criticism in the Senate came following an announcement by the State Department last night that President Johnson has determined that it is in the interests of the United States to fulfill remaining commitments of the Food for Peace agreements with Egypt, which terminate June 30. Accordingly, the U. S. Government is proceeding with the issuance of authorizations totaling approximately $37,000,000 for Egypt. Included is wheat valued at $22,400,000, vegetable oil valued at $5,600,000, dry milk $1,000,000, and tobacco $8,900,000.
The State Department said: “In connection with this agreement the Egyptian Government has undertaken to enter into discussions with us on any outstanding differences and to resolve these to our mutual satisfaction.” State Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey said today that aid is being resumed to Egypt because “there has been a definite improvement in our relations with the United Arab Republic since aid was suspended six months ago.”