WASHINGTON (Jun. 20)
The State Department today disclosed that it is carefully observing the ties between Communist China and Arab extremists. It reported that Communist China has given the Palestine Liberation Organization some noisy propaganda support,” but added that “we have no solid information which would confirm the claim that Chinese Communist arms or personnel have arrived in the Near East to help equip or train the PLO.
Assistant Secretary of State Douglas MacArthur II also said: “There have been reports of uncertain authenticity that a small number of Palestine Liberation Army recruits have been sent to Communist China for military training. We will continue to follow this closely.”
In a letter to Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, the State Department official stated: “We agree wholeheartedly with your opinion that the statements of Mr. Shukairy must be treated with reserve. (Ahmed Shukairy is chairman of the PLO.) As you know, the United States Government has strongly urged the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and the host countries to make every effort to assure that the PLO receive no support in the form of UNRWA rations for Palestine Liberation Army recruits.”
“I can assure you that the Department has the situation in the Near East under constant and careful review with particular concern for any development that would lead to an increase of tension between Israel and the Arab states,” Mr. MacArthur stressed.
The Jewish War Veterans today commended the State Department for asking the United Nations to suspend ration distribution to Arabs who are training in military guerrilla tactics. “It is now essential for the State Department to follow through and see to it that the United Nations does, in fact, drop the offending Arabs from the UNRWA relief rolls,” JWV national commander Milton Walder said. He urged the U.S. to “remind the U.N. Secretary-General that the United States has paid more than 70 percent of the UNRWA bill since that agency was created 16 years ago.”