High State Department Official Explains His Talk on Goldberg

G. Mennen Williams, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, issued a statement taking issue with charges by the Republican Congressional Committee that he apologized, in effect, to North African diplomats for the appointment of a Jew to be the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr. Williams said that any characterization of his consultations with envoys on the appointment of Arthur J. Goldberg as “appeasing the Arabs” was “nonsense.” He pointed out that it has been his practice to call in African Ambassadors to discuss all important matters, including the United Nations. “Among other thins, the fact that our new Ambassador to the U. N. had visited Africa and had an understanding of the problem of Africa’s underdeveloped countries was a matter of considerable interest to them that was not very readily available to them in other ways, “said Mr. Williams. He added that “this was an action I would have taken under similar circumstances with a new Ambassador, whether his name was Goldberg or Smith.”

“Anyone who tries to characterize this as apologizing either is unaware of the usual courtesies extended to African Ambassadors or is trying to make something out of nothing,” he declared in his statement.

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