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U.S. Instructs Embassy in Tel Aviv to Boycott Israel Exhibition

Acting on instructions from the State Department, the American embassy here will boycott tomorrow the opening of the “Conquest of the Desert” exhibition in Jerusalem which aims to demonstrate how various nations fight the desert and their methods of agricultural production, food processing, soil conservation and irrigation.

The spokesman of the American Embassy said today that no representative of the Embassy will appear at the opening ceremony. (In Washington, State Department sources said that this step was taken as a means of protesting Israel’s transfer of its Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.)

The British Embassy indicated that it will be represented at tomorrow’s ceremony in view of the fact that the exhibition is not officially arranged by the Israel Government. Other legations here were today still awaiting instructions from their governments as to whether their staffs should attend tomorrow’s affair.

More than 60 foreign firms, including American corporations, have taken space and set up exhibition booths in the main hall. United Nations agencies, including UNESCO, FAO, WHO and ILO, have erected a joint display section. Among the general exhibits will be films from 42 different lands demonstrating how each of these countries is turning its desert areas into productive regions. The Israel Government will allocate foreign currency to Israeli buyers of goods displayed at the various booths.

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