UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (Sep. 17)
Israel feels itself threatened by the situation in Syria and in general by the heavy shipment of arms to the Arab states surrounding Israel, Mrs. Golda Meir, Foreign Minister of Israel, declared today upon her arrival to attend the 12th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Asked what Israel’s principal objectives would be in this year’s Assembly, she declared that “all who are interested to see quiet and peace in the area will help bring about such a condition in the Middle East.”
Specifically in regard to the situation in Syria, Mrs. Meir stated: “We are very anxious about what is happening there. Syria is being heavily armed and the country that is sending arms to Syria is making baseless accusations against Israel. Charges are being made without any foundation that Israel is about to attack others. Israel has no intention of doing anything of that kind and naturally statements of that kind give us great concern.”
Asked whether Israel expects help from any other members of the UN, particularly the Great Powers, Mrs. Meir replied: “We expect help from all people who want peace in the Middle East and in the rest of the world. The Arab states are receiving shipments of arms and at the same time are making threatening statements in regard to Israel. No matter what the source of these arms shipments, the threats being made by those who are receiving the weapons are the same. The arms which are being given nations that have policies of belligerence against other nations in their area naturally create a situation which we see as dangerous and threatening to our security.”
Mrs. Meir declined to discuss the case of Eliahu Chazan, Israeli attache in Moscow, who was kidnapped and tortured in an attempt to make him divulge Israeli secrets and join the Soviet secret service. She said that issue has already been discussed by the director general of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and by Ambassador Joseph Avidar in Moscow. The latter is here currently as a member of the Israel delegation to the Assembly. Mrs. Meir expects to be in this country only until October 7.