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Israel Cabinet Meets on Suez Canal Issue; Approves Ben Gurion’s Stand

The Israel Cabinet held a special meeting today, under the chairmanship of Premier David Ben Gurion devoted exclusively to the situation which has developed in the wake of Egypt’s seizure of the Suez Canal.

Premier Ben Gurion and Foreign Minister Golda Meir reviewed the situation and its implications for Israel. They also reported on moves taken by the Israel Government to alert the Big Powers about Israel’s vital interests in the free passage of ships through the Suez Canal. The Cabinet approved of the policy.

In the meantime, it was learned here today that the Israel Government has alerted its ambassadors to remain at their posts abroad and to maintain contacts with the governments concerned in connection with the developments on the Suez Canal issue. It was also reported today that Britain is not indifferent to Israel’s interests in freedom of passage through the Suez Canal issue. It was also reported today that Britain is not indifferent to Israel’s interests in freedom of passage through the Suez Canal, although Israel is not one of the 24 nations invited to the London conference on the Canal.

The report said that Israel had received such an assurance when British Charge d’Affaires Peter Westlake called on Foreign Minister Golda Meir. Mr. Westlake is said to have conveyed a communication to this effect from Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd to Mrs. Meir, and to have indicated that an invitation to Israel to attend the parley would have been “impolitic.” The report further revealed that Israel’s Ambassador to Britain, Eliahu Elath, has postponed a trip home for consultations and will remain in London where he can keep in continuous touch with the situation.

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