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State Department Outlines U.S. Policy on Arab-israel Issues

January 27, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The United States Government adheres “fully” to the principle of direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab states, the State Department declared in an official summary of the American position regarding Israeli-Arab conflicts, made public here today.

While Washington “does not believe” that, at present, “there is a reasonable prospect of a constructive outcome” of such negotiations, it is doing all it can to “achieve increasing observance of the international rule of law” between the Arab states and Israel, the State Department said.

The U.S. policy concerning Arab-Israeli relations was spelled out in a lengthy letter from Assistant Secretary of State Dixon Donnelly to Moses Socahevsky, president of the Jewish Nazi Victims Organization of America. Mr. Donnelly’s letter was an official reply to one sent by Mr. Socachevsky earlier to President Johnson.

“We realize,” Mr. Donnelly wrote, “that not all Americans agree with the position the United States has taken with respect to recent incidents in this area. However, our actions should be viewed in the largest context of Arab-Israeli relations.”

Mr. Donnelly noted that the U.S.A., recognizing for a long time that the Arab refugee problem “is an obstacle” to the creation of peaceful conditions in the Near East, has spent over $315, 000, 000 since 1948 to help the Arab refugees and has consistently given “every encouragement to the search for progress toward a political solution of the refugee problem pursuant to United Nations resolutions.”


The high State Department official emphasized Washington’s concern with the arms race in the Near East, and the U.S. Government’s opposition to the Arab boycott against Israel. Concerning the Middle East arms race, he declared:

“The United States Government has long been and continues to be concerned with the arms race in the Near East. It has repeatedly stated its opposition to the introduction into the area of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, as well as of all sophisticated offensive weapons; its opposition to their acquisition or production by the nations of the area; and its strong hope for an abatement of the arms race in the Near East and of the tensions engendered thereby.

“To avoid contributing to the arms race, the United States has followed a policy of not becoming a major supplier of arms to any country in the Near East. On a carefully selective basis we have occasionally supplied military equipment to certain Near Eastern states to satisfy legitimate security requirements and to promote stability. It is the practice of this Government to keep the military situation in the area under constant careful review, and to study the possibilities of instituting international measures for arms limitation and control.”


As for the Arab boycott, Mr. Donnelly stated, it is “another source of area instability.” The United States, he declared, “does not recognize or condone the Arab boycott, particularly insofar as it adversely affects United States firms, vessels, and individuals. Every appropriate opportunity is utilized, on a continuing basis, to re-emphasize this fundamental position to the governments concerned.”

Mr. Donnelly recalled in his letter that, after Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol visited President Johnson last year, the joint Johnson-Eshkol communique had declared:

“The President welcomed assurances of Israel’s deep concern, which the United States shares, for peace in the area. He reiterated to Prime Minister Eshkol United States support for the territorial integrity and political independence of all countries in the Near East and emphasized the firm opposition of the United States to aggression and the use of force or the threat of force against any country,”

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