I AM GLAD to comply with your request to send a message to the meeting which you are addressing this evening, as I know of your great concern about the recent developments in the Near East which disturb all of us.
A threat to peace in the Near East is a threat to world peace. As I said the other day, while we continue willing to consider requests for arms needed for legitimate self-defense, we do not intend to contribute to an arms competition in the Near East. We will continue to be guided by the policies of the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950· We believe this policy best promotes the interest and security of the peoples of the area.
We believe the true and lasting security in the area must be based upon a just and reasonable settlement. It seems to me that current problems are capable of resolution by peaceful means. There is no reason why a settlement of these problems cannot be found, and when realized I would be prepared to recommend that the United States join in formal treaty engagements to prevent or thwart any effort by either side to alter by force the boundaries upon which Israel and its immediate neighbors agree.
The need for a peaceful settlement becomes daily more imperative. The United States will play its full part in working toward such a settlement and will support firmly the United Nations in its efforts to prevent violence in the area. By firm friendship towards Israel and all other Nations in the Near East, we shall continue to contribute to the peace of the world.
Sources: Public Papers of the President