LONDON (Feb. 19)
The London Daily Telegraph reported today from Beirut a warning from Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad that if Britain sold arms to Israel, the act would make the United Nations Security Council resolution dealing with a Middle East settlement a “mere scrap of paper.” The diplomat, speaking in Baghdad, also was reported as saying that British insistence on providing arms to Israel was “incompatible” with the Security Council Nov. 22, 1967 resolution.
Britain reportedly has been discussing the sale to Israel of some of its outmoded Centurion tanks. The Syrian and Iraqi Governments called for a boycott against British trade if the tanks were sold to Israel.
The Daily Telegraph’s military correspondent said yesterday that Jordan was believed to have more tanks now than in 1967, when the Six-Day War broke out. He said Jordan has received Centurion tanks since then from Britain as well as from Iraq and Egypt where they have been replaced by Soviet equipment. The correspondent said Israel’s request for Centurions was not likely to be rejected since it was compatible with U.S.-British policy to maintain an arms balance in the Middle East.