In a nation-wide broadcast on Wednesday (1 July), President Nixon outlined United States policy on maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East, a troubleshoot he now considers more dangerous than Vietnam.
SV Nixon facing three newspaper men
MV Nixon speaking
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 2): NIXON: "If you look at Middle East it isn't just a case of Israel versus the Arabs but the Soviet Union is now moving into the Eastern Mediterranean. The Mid East is important. We all know that 80 per cent of Europe's oil and 90 per cent of Japan's oil comes form the Mid East. We know that the Mid East, this area, this is the gateway to Africa, the gateway to the Mediterranean, it's the hinge of (indistinct).. and it's also the gateway through the Suez Canal down into the Indian Ocean. Under these circumstances we then look at it in terms of Israeli versus Arab, moderate Arabs versus radical Arabs, and whoever would think that there would be so many more radical than the Syrian within the radical Arab States spreading into the more radical super Arabs, when we think on all these factors we can see what a very difficult situation it is. Now what should U.S. policy be? I'll summarise it for you. One, our interest is peace and the integrity of every county in the area. Two, we recognise that Israel .. Israel, is not desirous of driving any of the other countries into the sea, if the other countries don't want to fight to drive Israel into the sea. Three, once the balance of power shifts where Israel is weaker than its neighbours there will be a war, therefore it is in the U.S.'s interests to maintain the balance of power and will maintain that balance of power. That's why as the Soviet Union moves in to support the U.A.R it makes it necessary for the United States to evaluate the Soviet Union participation and once that balance of power is upset we will do what is necessary to maintain Israel's strength against any of its neighbours, not because we want Israel to be in a position to wage war, that isn't it, but because that is what will deter its neighbours from attacking."
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Background: In a nation-wide broadcast on Wednesday (1 July), President Nixon outlined United States policy on maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East, a troubleshoot he now considers more dangerous than Vietnam.
In the hour-long live television interview in Los Angeles Mr. Nixon did not mention Israel's request to purchase 125 military aircraft from the United States. However, commentators claimed, his remarks left no doubt that he is ready to meet the request, at least in part, if he feels Israel's security is threatened.