LONDON (May. 21)
Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin acknowledged yesterday that the Arab states were receiving “extensive aid” from the Soviet Union so “they can successfully defend their legitimate national rights.” He declared, however, that the Soviet Union “Is consistently working to have the earliest political settlement in the Middle East.” Mr. Kosygin’s statement, distributed by Tass, the official Soviet news agency, was in reply to a letter sent to him by the chiefs of state of Turkey. Iran and Pakistan who held a non-Arab Moslem “summit” meeting at Izmir, Turkey two weeks ago. Their letter, dated May 7, was also sent to the heads of the Western powers. The three leaders appealed to them to “insure undelayed withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied by them in June. 1967.” They said, according to the Tass version, that “this would be fully In compliance with all provisions of the Security Council resolution of Nov. 22, 1967. The need of such action is becoming ever more pressing now.” According to Tass. Premier Kosygin replied that the Soviet government agreed “with the demand expressed by you that it is necessary to have undelayed withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from the Arab territories.” The reply continued, “It has to be stated with regret that there are still serious obstacles on the road toward relaxation of the tension and toward establishment of a lasting peace in the Middle East. It is well known that the Israeli government frustrates all the efforts aimed at a political settlement of the Middle East crisis.