No Indication Soviet Personnel Leaving Uar; U.S. Ready to Act in Peace-keeping Role

A State Department source said today that the United States has “no indication at all that Soviet personnel are leaving the UAR.” The source was commenting on an assertion by Sen. Mike Mansfield, Montana Democrat, Saturday that he had been advised that Soviet troops have withdrawn from surface-to-air missile sites along the Suez Canal although Russian advisors have been left behind. Mansfield said Egyptian forces were now in charge of the Soviet missiles. The same State Department source said there have been “redeployments” of Soviet forces in Egypt but that the Department would not go so far as to say that there have been any withdrawals as indicated by Sen. Mansfield. At today’s press briefing, Department spokesman Charles Bray refused to comment on Mansfield’s assertion. “We will not get into a subject of this kind,” he said. Asked to comment on the Montana Senator’s stated opposition to the use of American troops as part of any futures Middle East peace-keeping force, Bray replied: “We have made it perfectly clear that the U.S. is prepared to play a responsible role in connection with a settlement, specifically including participation in a peace-keeping force if that is desired by the parties.”

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