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Former Aramco Chairman Says U.S. Imposed Peace May Be Only Answer to Mideast Crisis

The former chairman of the Arabian-American Oil Co. told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today that a U.S. imposed settlement might be the only answer to the Mideast crisis. Robert I. Brougham, who retired as chairman of the board of Aramco three months ago, said in testimony before the Near East Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “Left to their own, the parties to the dispute will dissipate the chance for peace by pursuing the unrealistic and elusive targets of ‘direct negotiations’ and ‘complete evacuation before agreement of other issues.'” Mr. Brougham and Harold B. Scott, director of the U.S. Bureau of International Commerce, were the last two witnesses in the Subcommittee’s two-week round of hearings. Mr. Brougham warned that the pro-Israeli politics of the U.S. are hurting not only American business interests, but chances of peace. He said that Israeli intransigence and U.S. military support of Israel have pushed the Arabs further into the Soviet camp.

“It is ironic,” Mr. Brougham asserted, “that both Israel and the Soviet Union seem to have been diligently pursuing the same goal; that is, the polarization of the area into an Arab world that is completely dependent on the Soviet Union for protection, on one side, and an Israel that is fully identified with the U.S. on the other side.” Mr. Brougham said that peace becomes less likely every day, because the Arabs are growing stronger with time and Soviet military aid. Mr. Scott outlined the present U.S.-Middle East business situation, and the Commerce Department’s program there. He said the situation could be helped greatly by peace. Mr. Brougham said that although the Palestinians insist they will accept no settlement short of reestablishment of their country, a settlement between the Arab States and Israel, which considers Palestinian interests, can be imposed on the refugees.

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