Arab Leaders Recall Former President Eisenhower As Friend

Arab leaders in the Middle East recall the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower as “a good and honest man” who “did what he thought was best for American interests” and that is all they ask President Nixon to do now, Christian Science Monitor correspondent John K. Cooley reported from Beirut today.

Gen. Eisenhower’s death at 78 last Friday prompted an evaluation of his Administration, particularly its policies in the Middle East, and the consensus among Arabs was favorable, Mr. Cooley reported. They recalled that he brought pressure to bear on Israel in 1953 when UN truce observers ordered it to cease diverting Jordan River waters and after the 1956 Suez crisis when the Eisenhower Administration, in concert with Russia, forced Israel to pull out of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. They also recalled that in 1958 he ordered Marines to land in Lebanon to protect the pro-Western regime of President Camille Chamoun. “In the view of the Israelis and some others, the events of 1958 contributed to a strengthening of President Nasser’s position of leadership in the Arab world, severely weakened by the June, 1967 war,” Mr. Cooley wrote.

The Arabs, he said, consider that President Eisenhower tried to be “more fair” in the Middle East than either President Truman or President Johnson. “They hope that President Nixon will prove to be the same, though Egypt’s President Nasser said March 27 he had so far ‘detected no change,’ ” Mr. Cooley wrote.

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