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Israel Does Not Plan Change in Its Policy of Neutrality with World Blocs. Sharett Says

In a comprehensive review of Israel’s foreign policy, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett told a press conference last night that no change was contemplated in the country’s decision to maintain neutrality and not identify itself with any of the major world blocs.

Mr. Sharett said that no negotiations were in progress with Lebanon or Transjordan and added that the two countries had not made any overtures to Israel He added that the Israel Government was still determined to press for separate negotiations with each Arab state.

Regarding a possible exchange of population–100,000 Iraqi Jews for 100,000 Palestine Arab refugees–with Iraq, Mr. Sharett said that no specific suggestions had been formulated by the Iraqis since the subject was advanced under encouragement from the Economic Survey Group of the U.N. Conciliation Commission.

An appreciable immigration was expected to start soon from Hungary, he continued, but added that he was unable to say how long it would continue.

(A Bucharest dispatch carried by Reuters reported during the week-end that the Rumanian Government has announced it is issuing “almost a thousand” passports to Rumanian Jews wishing to proceed to Israel. The report added that the first contingent of these immigrants would leave for Israel on Tuesday.

(The New York Herald-Tribune said today in a Tel Aviv dispatch that Israel, through trade union channels, has appealed to the Soviet Union to intervene with Eastern European governments in behalf of free Jewish immigration to Israel. To date, the report added, the Moscow government has ignored the request. The dispatch said that a long memorandum containing full details of the new Israel request to the Soviets had been prepared by the Histadrut and will be released shortly.)

There were no current trade negotiations with Russia, Mr. Sharett said, except for isolated explorations for separate deals. He noted that Israel had taken the initiative in seeking to buy various commodities from Russia on credit, but had had no positive reply as yet.

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