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Nehru’s Anti-israel Remarks Evoke Reply by Ben Gurion in Knesset

Prime Minister David Ben Gurion politely but firmly declared in Knesset today that the action of Indian Prime Minister Nehru in postponing establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel was “connected with tactics not principles. ” He called on Nehru to “ultimately fulfill his promise” to establish such relations with Israel.

The Prime Minister made the statement in reply to a question from a member of Knesset who asked for comment on Nehru’s recent remark that there were “ominous sounds” and “precipitate action” coming from Israel during the Egyptian-Syrian merger talks. While there has been a mutual exchange of diplomatic recognition, Israel maintains only a consulate in India and India has no representative in Israel.

“I read with regret and concern the surprising statement of the Indian Premier for which there is no foundation whatsoever, ” Ben Gurion said. “No ominous sounds, no action precipitate or deliberate has been or is about to be taken by Israel in connection with the Egyptian-Syrian merger, about which a question may be raised as to whether it is actually a merger or annexation of Syria by Egypt.

“Israel is not in the habit of interfering in the internal affairs in countries near or fart ” the Prime Minister continued.”Maybe the distinguished Indian Premier received inaccurate information from the Egyptian Embassy in India.More than once he has promised our representatives who visited India that he would establish diplomatic relations between our two countries. I note with satisfaction the number of Indian papers which have editorially asked the source of Indian information in Israel. “

The Prime Minister said that he had “no intention of setting myself as a judge” on the Indian leader’s statement. “His standing as the illustrious leader of a mighty nation is assured and I hope that the great Indian statesman will ultimately fulfill his promise,”Mr. Ben Gurion stated.”I am glad also to note the existence of close contacts between a number of leading Indian intellectuals and their colleagues in Israel and the fact that Indian scholars visiting Israel have expressed regret that India does not maintain a legation here.”

“It may be assumed that Nehru has his own reasons for this attitude, ” said the Premier, “but it is clear that these are connected with tactics, not principles and I hope they are only temporary”

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