WASHINGTON (Dec. 18)
Israel sources indicated today that the United States is not associated with the reported current moves to raise the Israel-Arab boundary issue and that the United States is highly skeptical about reports of an alleged Soviet-Arab agreement “to push Israel back to 1947.” The Israelis here welcomed indications that the issue was dying down.
The reported Turkish proposals advancing a suggestion of a reduction of Israel to the 1947 United Nations partition boundaries came up today when Israel Ambassador Abba Eban met with William Rountree, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
Mr. Eban said there was no issue on the question of territorial cession between the United States and Israel and that this problem therefore did not take a very central part in today’s discussion. But it did come up. Note was taken by Mr. Eban of current press reports shedding doubt on the accuracy of stories about various drives to reduce Israel to its boundaries proposed in 1947 by the United Nations. He thought too much had been made of the whole matter. Israel’s attitude, he said, remains what it has been in the last nine years.
ISRAEL HAS NO INTENTION OF CEDING TERRITORY, AMBASSADOR EBAN DECLARES
Israel has no intention of ceding territory to Arab states 300 to 400 times its size, Mr. Eban said. He added that Israel was under no obligation to surrender its land and that it was not for a third party to discuss disposition of territory belonging to Israel.
(From Jerusalem, it was reported today that repeated reports by New York Herald Tribune correspondent Joseph Alsop to the effect that the Soviet Union has promised full backing of the Arab states’ demand that Israel’s frontiers be shoved back to the lines laid down in the 1947 United Nations partition plan appear to have no basis as far as Israel’s foreign affairs experts are concerned. The Israelis note that Mr. Alsop’s Arab sources for the report are uncorroborated from any other source. They assert that the Arabs are obviously using the story as a weapon against Israel.)
Ambassador Eban also discussed with Mr. Rountree today political, economic, financial, and technical matters including “current and projected aid programs in the economic field.” He said he discussed American-Israeli relations, noting that the United States had assumed certain obligations in connection with the Eisenhower Doctrine and certain aid agreements.