THE CEASE-FIRE vote of the Security Council opens a very hopeful path away from danger in the Middle East. It reflects responsible concern for peace on the part of all who voted for it. The United States has warmly supported this resolution. We hope the parties directly concerned will promptly act upon it. We believe that a cease-fire is the necessary "first step," in the words of the resolution itself--a first step toward what we all must hope will be a new time of settled peace and progress for all the peoples of the Middle East.
It is toward this end that we shall now strive.Note: The statement was read by the President at 8 p.m. in the White House Theater. Three previous statements, by Special Assistant to the President George E. Christian and Secretary of State Rusk on June 5 and 6 had dealt with earlier stages of the crisis.
On June 5, on announcing the outbreak of fighting in the Middle East, Mr. Christian stated that the United Nations Security Council had been "called into urgent session." The President, he said, had asked Secretaries Rusk and McNamara to brief House and Senate leaders at 9:30 a.m. following an 8:30 meeting of the President with the two Cabinet officers, Special Assistant Walt W. Rostow, and himself.
At 6:10 p.m. on June 5 Secretary Rusk read a statement to the press and responded to questions. In the statement Secretary Rusk referred to the President's "very fundamental statement" of May 23 (see Item 233), "and to his reaffirmation of the policies, enunciated by four Presidents, that the United States is committed to the support of the independence and territorial integrity of all the nations of the area of the Near East." The Secretary stressed that the United States was making "a maximum effort in the Security Council to bring about a cease-fire." In his statement and again in answer to a query Secretary Rusk emphasized that while we were not a belligerent, the Government had been deeply concerned about the situation and alert to the issues at stake and our obligations as a permanent member of the Security Council.
In a later statement to the press, Secretary Rusk, speaking at 9:05 a.m. on June 6 outside the West Lobby at the White House, characterized as "utterly and wholly false" charges by Cairo that United States carrier-based planes had participated in the attacks on Egypt.
Full texts of the three statements are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 3, pp. 831-833).