Johnston, Sharett Discuss American Plan for Jordan Development

Eric Johnston, President Eisenhower’s personal envoy to the Near East, today conferred with Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and a party of American and Israeli water resources experts on the details of a plan for regional development of the Jordan River, which was drafted by the Tennessee Valley Authority at the request of the State Department. The plan would give Jordan and Syria the larger share of the river’s water.

The conferees, who also included American Embassy officials and Israel Finance Minister Levi Eshkol and Trade Minister Peretz Bernstein, held what was described by official circles as an “informal technical discussion. ” After Mr. Johnston had presented the plan at length and the Israelis had asked a number of questions and offered some objections to details, it was agreed that the Israel Government would study the scheme and Mr. Johnston would report to President Eisenhower on today’s discussion.

After the meeting, Mr. Johnston expressed satisfaction with the talks–today and yesterday–and described them as “fruitful. ” He will leave Israel for Damascus tomorrow and may return next week.

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