Eban Confers with State Dept. Aide on Jordan River Project

Israel Ambassador Abba S. Eban S. Eban conferred today for an hour and a quarter with Acting Under-Secretary of State Robert Murphy on a number of questions involving the Middle East. When he emerged from the State Department, he told reporters in reply to question that “there will be developments soon” on Israel’s Jordan River development project.

Mr. Eban, who was accompanied to the meeting by Reuven Shiloah, Israel Minister, said that “we discussed various matters concerning the Middle East, notably the situation with respect to the Bnot Yaakov canal project. We exchanged views on future procedure in a very friendly spirit.

“I raised a discussion of how the United States and Israel could continue to work together toward the objective which they jointly upheld in the Security Council in finding conditions to solve the problem affecting completion of the canal project,” he reported.

Mr. Eban also disclosed that he had reviewed with Mr. Murphy Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egypt armistice matters and the attempt by the United Nations Secretary-General to convene the Jordan-Israel armistice meeting following Israel’s invocation of Article XII of the armistice agreement.

The diplomats also discussed the “recent intensification” by Egypt of its blockade of Israel-bound shipping at the Sues Canal and at the port of Eilath, Mr. Eban said. Mr. Murphy was understood to have assured Mr. Eban that the United States stood firm in support of the Security Council’s 1951 resolution against the Egyptian blockade.

Later, Mr. Eban had a conference with Henry A. Byroade, Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs, with whom he discussed political and economic questions arising in the Middle East, including some of the issues he had previously gone over with Mr. Murphy. The meeting lasted 35 minutes.

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