Britain Sees No End of Arab Israel Arms Race Without Pact with Russia
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Britain Sees No End of Arab Israel Arms Race Without Pact with Russia

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The arms race between Egypt and Israel can be solved only if a general agreement to this affect is reached between the Western powers and the Soviet Union, British officials indicated here today.

Their observations were made in connection with reports from Cairo stating that tomorrow will be the day when Egypt will display new modern air and sea armaments created in Egypt by German scientists and technicians, or acquired from the Soviet Union. Tomorrow is Egypt’s “Independence Day”, which will be celebrated with a display of supersonic jet-fighters, Russian-made air rockets and Komar rocket ships of Soviet make.

Foreign office circles here today pointed to the fact that the United States, France and, to a smaller extent, also Britain, are supplying Israel with defense weapons, with a view to keeping the arms balance in the Middle East. This, they said, is the second best of the two alternatives, since nothing has so far been done to bring about joint action on the part of the Soviet Union and the Western powers to put an end to the arms race between Nasser and Israel.

Foreign Office officials also stressed the fact that the Tripartite Declaration announced by Britain, France and the United States in 1950, guaranteeing the present Arab-Israel borders, has never been called off and is still, formally speaking, intact. At the same time, they emphasized that no one knows how effective this agreement could be in any emergency, adding that “this would not be the fault of Britain.”


A report from Cairo published here today said that American diplomats in Egypt would not like to see the departure of the German scientists helping Nasser to develop his rocket program. According to the report, the American diplomats in Cairo feel that this might undermine the Western influence or Nasser, since he might then turn to Moscow for Soviet technicians.

One American diplomat in Cairo was quoted in the report as stating: “We have an influence here and a presence — and that is worth something if you are trying to keep the peace. What is more, the Middle East is a very cheap deal for the American taxpayer. That is why anything which upsets the area — like the attempt to bar German scientists — must be carefully examined to see what its effect may be on stability in the area.”

A Moscow report by the Soviet news agency, Tass, today, revealed that Soviet technicians are to start work soon on a new, 740-mile network of high-voltage electric transmission lines in Egypt. The lines will stretch from Aswan to Cairo, and from the Nile to the Red Sea, the Tass report stated.

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