Washington (May. 16)
The State Department said again today that the U.S. Government is “deeply concerned” about the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, and is urging restraint on all nations involved. State Department spokesman Robert McCloskey, noting the latest developments, said “obviously it is our hope that prudence will be brought to bear.” He stressed that “in general, there is cause for overall concern over the situation in the Middle East.”
U.S. concern about the situation in the Middle East, where tension between the Arab countries and Israel has been mounting during the last few days, was expressed yesterday in a statement issued in New York by Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, head of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He said that the U.S. Government is “distressed over reports of increased tension and military preparations.”
Declaring that the U.S. “strongly supports” the efforts of U.N. Secretary-General U Thant to maintain peace in the Middle East, Ambassador Goldberg revealed that “diplomatic efforts” on the part of the U.S. Government are now under way in support of Mr. Thant’s efforts. “We hope that the response to his efforts will be positive,” he stated. His statement was made after George J. Tomeh, the representative of Syria at the United Nations, warned the Security Council that a “Suez type” of crisis was developing in the Middle East, Mr. Tomeh suggested that the Central Intelligence Service and the U.S. Sixth Fleet were involved in a “conspiracy” against Syria.