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From 50 Years Ago: Oil Diplomacy.

Editorial from Volume IX, No 7, February 16, 1957.

There may be nothing new in M Shepilov’s proposal to the Western Powers to join Russia in pursuing a policy of benevolent neutrality to west Asia. But the proposal is another reminder, if any were needed, of the superior diplomacy of the Soviet Union. Too often, it has been insinuated that Russia’s seemingly sensible plans to ensure regional or global peace are mere diplomatic stunts and devices. Be it readily admitted that Russia’s intentions are not so innocent as she professes them to be. But it should be equally readily accepted that neither are Western Powers angels. If both sides are fighting for world domination, if the “cold war” is a visible symptom of this eternal fight for power, Russia can, at least, claim, that, over and over again, she has proposed plans to foster regional and global co-existence, only to be rejected by the other side.

Consider, for instance, developments in west Asia in the last twelve months . M Shepilov’s plan for a joint four-Power “hands off” policy to west Asia is a counterproposal to the Eisenhower Doctrine . Washington’s firm attitude to the AngloFrench aggression against Egypt has been widely welcomed. America’s support to the United Nations to stop aggression in west Asia has been justly hailed. In many countries, the Eisenhower Doctrine has been eulogised. For a proper appreciation of the situation in west Asia, it is necessary to assess the developments which led to the joint Anglo-French aggression against Egypt. Sir Anthony Eden has paid for his folly by his political suicide.Britain’s acts of aggression in Egypt cannot be condoned. France’s combative hostility to Egypt stems from different motives, but these motives are no less foul.

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