Israel Seeks Clarification of U.S. Stand on Jordan Water Plan

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban and Jacob Blaustein, honorary president of the American Jewish Committee, today conferred separately with Henry A. Byroade, Assistant Secretary of State.

Mr. Eban said after the conference that he sought clarification of a recent State Department expression endorsing Arab proposals for the utilization of the waters of the Jordan River. Mr. Eban said he explained Israel’s views on the Arab water proposals.

Israel’s concern about the American program for the arming of Iraq was expressed by Mr. Eban. Asked by a reporter if Israel noted any change in the State Department position on the Iraq’s arm question, Mr. Eban said “our positions are certainly not in harmony on this point.”

The State Department assurances “do not go to the heart of the matter,” he said, adding that Israel could not draw any reassurance or consolation from what he has been told by the State Department about quantitative limitations on munitions for Iraq.

The occasion for today’s meeting was Mr. Byroade’s return from a conference of American diplomats held earlier this month in Turkey. Mr. Eban said that while routine natters were reviewed, Israel’s concern was reiterated on the Iraq arms matter and Israel’s views put forward in connection with developments affecting the Jordan River. The Ambassador was accompanied by Col. Chaim Herzog, chief military attache, and Reuven Shiloah, Minister Plenipotentiary.

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