JERUSALEM (Apr. 20)
The Israel Cabinet approved today Premier David Ben Gurion’s reply to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s plea to Israel, among other nations, to support the Soviet call for an international ban on further nuclear bomb tests and the production of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Ben Gurion reportedly suggested that the principle of disarmament be applied to the Middle East region to diminish the possibility of an outbreak of war in the area. The gist of the reply is thought to be: Israel favors the banning of nuclear weapons tests but believes that this can only be put into effect by a decision among the Big Powers.
Meanwhile, in a repercussion of the Moscow-Belgrade rift, the Israeli Communist delegation which was to participate in the forthcoming national convention of the Yugoslav Communist Party today cancelled its flight plans at the last minute. The Israeli Communists informed the Yugoslav delegation in Israel that its action was in line with Moscow’s boycott of the Belgrade meeting.
However, an Israeli Mapam delegation left for the Yugoslav capital today to attend the parley. Mapam political secretary N. Peled told a press conference that Israel has high hopes that Yugoslavia will contribute to neutralizing the Middle East and possibly will be able to help promote direct Arab-Israel peace talks.