Arabs Reportedly Surprised by Kosygin Middle East Arms-reduction Plan

The London Daily Telegraph said yesterday that the Arab world had reacted with surprise and concern to Soviet Premier Kosygin’s proposals for a limitation of arms shipments to the Middle East. The Soviet Union’s three main arms customers in the Middle Eas – Egypt, Syria and Iraq – the Daily Telegraph said in a dispatch from Beirut, expressed surprise at the announcement. There was considerable speculation, the paper said, that the Soviet Union was now pressing hard for an Arab-Israeli settlement along the lines of the Nov. 22, 1967 United Nations Security Council resolution. The supply of arms to the Middle East the Daily Telegraph noted, would be an important factor in this context.

The paper added that Egypt has reportedly complained to Moscow about the virtual drying up of the Soviet arms flow, the quality of the arms they have already received and the prices the Soviet Union is charging for military spare parts.

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