Israel Disassociates Itself from Views Reported by Johnston

An Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman today stressed that Ambassador Eric A. Johnston’s statement in Washington earlier this week on the prospects for conclusion of a regional water and power development plan for the Jordan River Valley must be regarded as reflecting the Ambassador’s personal views, not those of Israel.

The spokesman added that, as long as no agreement has been reached on the main principles of the project, nothing definite can be laid down about Israel’s agreement to any principle whatever, apart from a general positive attitude toward a regional water settlement and apart from the settlement of Arab refugees in the neighboring countries.

As for Mr. Johnston’s statement concerning work on the Bnot Yaacov power station on the Jordan River, this too must be regarded as the Ambassador’s personal views. It in no way expresses the view of the Israel Government, which continues to assert its right to carry out this work, the spokesman stressed. He noted that Mr. Johnston himself had stated in conversations with the Israelis that he does not regard himself as authorized to intervene in this matter.

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