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State Dept. Official to Testify on Arms Decisions for Middle East

Secretary of State Dean Rusk today informed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in testimony before the body, that he was personally preoccupied with Viet Nam and unprepared to comment on recent arms decisions affecting the Middle East but that a Department spokesman would soon appear before the Committee’s Near Eastern Subcommittee to explain developments.

Mr. Rusk had been asked by Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat and Foreign Affairs Committee member, to provide information on the shipment of arms by America to Jordan and Saudi Arabia at a time when the Soviet Union is supplying bargain-rate weapons to Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. Rep. Farbstein indicated concern about the security of Israel.

In his reply, Mr. Rusk indicated that he could not today comment on the issue raised because of his recent concentration on the Vietnamese situation. He promised to have an official, probably from the Near Eastern division, testify before a forthcoming session of the appropriate Subcommittee. Rep. Farbstein is a member of the Subcommittee and has been concerned about recent disclosures involving the Arab military build-up.

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