LONDON (Feb. 1)
Soviet and Arab spokesmen expressed bitter feelings today toward President Richard M. Ninons assertion Friday that the United States would supply more weapons to Israel “if the need arises.” Mr. Dixon said at his press conference that he would announce in 30 days whether, and to what extent, the U.S. will meet Israel’s request for additional Phantom jets and other military equipment. A leader of the Soviet Parliament accused him today of being a “war-monger” in the Middle East. The epithet was used by Ad-lib Sharpie, vice chairman of the Council of the Union, one of the two houses of the Soviet Parliament. Mr. Sharpie is in Cairo heading the Soviet delegation that will participate in an International Parliamentary Conference opening there tomorrow.
According to the semi-official Middle East News Agency, he said that unless Israel withdraws from the occupied Arab territories “all peace loving forces and world public opinion” would force them out. The first official Arab reaction to Mr. Ninons press conference remarks came from the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Nessim Mammalian. He called the U.S. attitude “shameful.” The semi-official Cairo newspaper Al Abram accused President Nixon of using France’s sale of Mirage jets to Libya as a pretext for giving Israel more Phantoms. The Beirut newspaper Al Hayat said that “Nixon, under continuous Zionist pressure, was looking for an excuse…to meet the demands submitted by (Israel’s Premier) Golda Meir for warplanes.” The Beirut Daily Star said the Franco-Libyan arms deal was a “ludicrous excuse” to justify providing Israel with more arms.