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Washington Seeks End of Tripartite Concept for Middle East Security

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Official American sources said today that the last vestige of the “tripartite” concept in which the United States, the United Kingdom and France were linked in security assurances to Israel was eliminated today with the announcement in London that all British armed forces were being withdrawn from service east of Suez.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced that the last of the British forces would be removed from the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Far East by the end of 1971. In announcing the decision. Mr. Wilson said that “it means reassessing our role in the world and realistically limiting commitments and outgoings to our true capacity.” He told the House that “we have to come to terms with our role in the world.” He said, however, that Britain would remain at NATO bases in Western Europe.

France previously had made it known, through the policies apparent since the Six-Day War in June, that the French no longer thought in terms of a joint Anglo-American French approach to the Middle East. When the Tripartite Declaration was made in 1950, Israeli leaders hailed it as a vital guaranty of Israeli security by the Big Three Western powers.

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