Israel Conferring with Big Powers on Egyptian Blockade

Israel is initiating conferences with the United States, British and French Governments over the recent seizure by Egyptian authorities of a shipment of Israel-bound meat aboard a vessel in the Suez Canal, it was reported here today.

This action was seen as a possible preliminary to Israel’s raising the issue before the United Nations Security Council or at the forthcoming General Assembly session in February. When Israeli delegate Abba Eban withdrew the Israeli complaint against the Arab states from the Assembly agenda earlier this month, he indicated that the matter would be dealt with through “other channels.”

(In Washington it was learned that the Israel Embassy had delivered to the State Department the details of the Israeli complaint. just before the holidays. The State Department has not commented thus far.)

The specific Israeli complaint is based on the halting of the Norwegian freighter Rimfrost in the Canal last October. Although the vessel was later released, the Egyptian authorities unloaded the cargo. This action not only violated a U. N. Security Council resolution calling on Egypt to end the leisure of vessels and cargoes bound for Israel, but also contradicts Egyptian statements that only cargoes of war materiel are seized.

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