United States Stresses Concern for Close Relations with Arab Nations

Government officials indicated today their concern for friendly relations with Arab countries at a ceremony marking the swearing in of a new United States ambassador to Jordan and in a statement regretting action by the House of Representatives for a ban on further imports of cotton from Egypt and the Sudan.

Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach, who participated in the swearing in of career Foreign Service officer Harrison Symmes, stressed in his remarks the importance the United States attached to “warm and close relations” with the Government of Jordan. Mr. Symmes pledged that, as envoy, he would seek to promote “understanding and goodwill” between the United States and Jordan. He said the two countries had “a substantial and enduring interest in ensuring the peace and stability in the Near East.” Mr. Katzenbach said Mr. Symmes was being sent to Amman with the “full and complete confidence” of President Johnson and Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

(In Bonn, King Hussein lunched today with President Heinrich Luebke and conferred for one hour with Foreign Minister Willy Brandt. A West German government spokesman said the talks had been frank and covered the King’s ideas of a peaceful solution to the Middle East problem which, Hussein stressed, must be resolves speedily, Brandt stressed the Federal Republic’s humanitarian attitude toward the refugee problem noting its decision to give 50 million marks toward alleviating the refugees’ hardships. Bonn press chief Gunter Von Hase said at a press conference yesterday that arms would not be supplied to Jordan because West German policy was not to send weapons to areas of tension. He also said that West Germany would decline to serve as a mediator in the Middle East dispute if asked to do so.

(King Hussein, addressing German industrialists at the Rhine-Ruhr Club in Dusseldorf, said the June war with Israel had begun unexpectedly and prematurely owing to “Israeli provocations” against Syria and that the joint Arab high command was established too late. He stressed that it was necessary for all sides to find a just and peaceful solution and lamented the fact that the Arabs “did not achieve worldwide understanding of our case.”)

The statement on the cotton issue was made by State Department spokesman Robert McCloskey after the House voted yesterday, 274 to 64 to ban further cotton imports from nations like Egypt and the Sudan, which severed diplomatic relations with the United States when they declared war on Israel last June. Mr. McCloskey said the State Department saw “no purpose” in preventing Egypt and the Sudan “from keeping their traditional share of the United States quota for long staple cotton.”

Members of the House had objected to allowing the two countries to sell products in the United States. A main factor was given as competition with American cotton but the purchase of Soviet weapons by both countries was cited by many Representatives. The measure now goes to the Senate where the Administration hopes to kill it.

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