Statement by the President Upon Signing the Joint Resolution on the Middle East.
THIS OCCASION MARKS an important forward step in the development of friendly relations between the United States and the Middle East area. The joint resolution of the Congress which I have just signed expresses the determination of the legislative and executive branches of the Government to assist the nations in the general area of the Middle East to maintain their independence. It is a further demonstration of the will of the American people to preserve peace and freedom in the world.
The provisions of the resolution and, even more, the unity of national purpose which it reflects will increase the Administration's capabilities to contribute to reducing the Communist danger in the Middle East and to strengthening the general stability of the area.
In my message to the Congress proposing the joint resolution now adopted I said that I would send a special mission to the Middle East to explain the purposes of the resolution to the Middle Eastern countries, and to report to me on the most effective ways of carrying out these purposes. As was announced on January 7, 1957, The Honorable James P. Richards, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has agreed to undertake this mission. Ambassador Richards will depart for the Middle East on March twelfth.
I regard Ambassador Richards' mission as an essential and important first step in carrying out the policies set forth in the joint resolution. As those policies are based on the concept of cooperation, and as the assistance contemplated by the resolution will be extended only in response to requests from Middle Eastern governments, we must achieve the greatest possible measure of understanding and recognition of common interests with the area governments and their peoples. Ambassador Richards' mission is to advance this understanding and recognition of common interests. I know that he will bring to this task the integrity, ability and sound judgment that have marked his long and distinguished career in public life.
Note: This statement was issued on the occasion of the signing of H. J. Res. 117 (Pub. Law 85-7, 71 Stat. 5). For the message referred to in the third paragraph, see Item 6 above.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Joint Resolution on the Middle East. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233117