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The Secretary of State announced today in Geneva that United States passports will henceforth not require special validation for travel to the following countries in the European Soviet bloc: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Instead of the previous endorsement necessitating special validation for travel in those areas passports will now carry the following stamp:

“This passport is not valid for travel to the following areas under control of authorities with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations: Albania, Bulgaria, and those portions of China, Korea, and Vietnam under Communist control."

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE-FOR THE PRESS

(October 31, 1956, No. 565)

MIDDLE EAST PASSPORT RESTRICTIONS

The Department of State announced today that because of the troubled conditions in the eastern Mediterranean area, passports are not being issued, extended or renewed for travel to or in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria. Passports will be endorsed, “This passport is not valid for travel to or in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria.” An exception may be made, however, when the Department of State is satisfied that the presence of the person in one of these countries would be in the best interests of the United States. When exception is made, an appropriate endorsement will be placed in the passport.

Persons planning to travel in Middle Eastern countries other than the four specified above for passport restrictions are urged to defer their plans if it is at all possible to do so.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR THE PRESS

(November 2, 1956, No. 567)

The Department of State announced today the issuance of an order invalidat. ing all outstanding passports for travel to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria, except those of persons remaining in those countries and of Government officials and their families en route to or stationed there. Passports of persons within any of these four countries will become invalid for return thereto when they proceed to a country other than Aden, Bahrein, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Muscat and Oman, Saudia Arabia, Syria, Yemen. Passports invalidated for travel to or in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria will remain invalid for travel there unless specially endorsed for travel to or in one or more of these countries or until the order is revoked.

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Asked for comment on the so-called Peiping Peace Conference and reports that a number of Americans are allegedly attending as delegates, Secretary of State Dean Acheson at his news conference today made the following extemporaneous reply:

This conference is, of course, an obvious propaganda operation in which the Chinese Communists, while taking an active part in defying the United Nations and carrying the war into Korea, and while they are joining with the Soviet Government in its violent "hate campaign," are continuing to hold “peace conferences." I think this deceives nobody.

In regard to your other question about the Americans, we have heard reports that certain American citizens were attending. From the reports that we have gotten, we think we have about 15 of these Americans identified. Now, some of them were in China already. However, no persons have been issued passports to attend this conference or have asked for passports to attend the conference.

All passports have been stamped since May 1, "Not valid for travel to * China * .**"

We are now making efforts to find out whether any of the people that we have identified have obtained passports on false information furnished to the Department or whether they have violated the instruction which is on the passport. That is stamped on it, as I have said, and there are appropriate statutes which cover both of these cases.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE-FOR THE PRESS

(September 10, 1955, No. 538) The following announcement was made today at Geneva, Switzerland :

“AGREED ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE AMBASSADORS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

“The Ambassadors of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China have agreed to announce measures which their respective governments have adopted concerning the return of civilians to their respective countries.

"With respect to Chinese in the United States, Ambassador U. Alexis John. son, on behalf of the United States, has informed Ambassador Wang Ping-nan that

"1. The United States recognizes that Chinese in the United States who desire to return to the People's Republic of China are entitled to do so and declares that it has adopted and will further adopt appropriate measures so that they can expeditiously exercise their right to return.

"2. The Government of the Republic of India will be invited to assist in the return to the People's Republic of China of those who desire to do so as follows:

"A. If any Chinese in the United States believes that contrary to the declared policy of the United States he is encountering obstruction in departure, he may so inform the Embassy of the Republic of India in the United States and request it to make representations on his behalf to the United States Govern. ment. If desired by the People's Republic of China, the Government of the Republic of India may also investigate the facts in any such case.

“B. If any Chinese in the United States who desires to return to the People's Republic of China has difficulty in paying his return expenses, the Government of the Republic of India may render him financial assistance needed to permit his return.

"3. The United States Government will give wide publicity to the foregoing arrangements and the Embassy of the Republic of India in the United States may also do so.

"With respect to Americans in the People's Republic of China, Ambassador Wang Ping-nan, on behalf of the People's Republic of China, has informed Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson that,

"1. The People's Republic of China recognizes that Americans in the People's Republic of China who desire to return to the United States are entitled to do so, and declares that it has adopted and will further adopt appropriate measures so that they can expeditiously exercise their right to return.

“2. The Government of the United Kingdom will be invited to assist in the return to the United States of those Americans who desire to do so as follows:

"A. If any American in the People's Republic of China believes that contrary to the declared policy of the People's Republic of China he is encountering obstruction in departure, he may so inform the Office of the Chargé d'Affaires of the United Kingdom in the People's Republic of China and request it to make representations on his behalf to the Government of the People's Republic of China. If desired by the United States, the Government of the United Kingdom may also investigate the facts in any such case.

“B. If any American in the People's Republic of China who desires to return to the United States has difficulty in paying his return expenses, the Govern. ment of the United Kingdom may render him financial assistance needed to permit his return.

"3. The Government of the People's Republic of China will give wide publicity to the foregoing arrangements and the Office of the Chargé d'Affaires of the United Kingdom in the People's Republic of China may also do so."

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles has approved this action by Ambassador Johnson and President Eisenhower has been kept advised of the progress of the talks.

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