TEL AVIV (Jan. 14)
“Israel’s foreign policy will remain that of defense of Israel’s independence and of the independent attitude of the Jewish state in international affairs,” Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett declared here to representatives of the press following his return to Israel after a two-a-half month’s absence abroad.
The Foreign Minister said that there is no change in Israel’s relations with the Arab states and that peace in the Middle East is not imminent. He strongly denied reports alleging that talks are taking place between Israel and Turkey for a military alliance.
Referring to the status of Jerusalem, Mr. Sharett said that the recent discussions at the United Nations about the internationalization of the city indicated a noticeable withdrawal from the original U.N. internationalization scheme. He confirmed reports that Eliahu Klath, Israel’s Minister to Britain, met with British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin on the Far East situation. With regard to the world situation he said that the recent developments are “very grave,” but added that there is still hope that war will not break out.
Meanwhile, it was learned that the Israel Government has contacted Britain regarding the Egyptian extension of the Suez Canal blockage against Israel by establishing shore batteries at the entrance to the Canal, compelling passing ships to identify themselves, the nature of their cargo, and their destination.
The government of Jordan, it is reported here, is investigating reports that Egypt has established batteries near the tip of the Sinai Peninsula commanding shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba.