ROME (Jan. 25)
Italian citizens who left Egypt during the 1956 Suez crisis may return there independently of their religious or ethnical background, it was officially reported today in Italian Government circles. A source close to Premier Amintore Fanfani confirmed that among the first 20 Italian nationals permitted to return there are three Jews
The report was made after insinuations had been published by opposition newspapers, in commenting on the communique issued in Cairo at the close of the recent visit of Premier Fanfani, that Jews had been excluded from the agreement between Italy and the United Arab Republic on the return of such Italians. The newspapers hinted that the lack of reference to Italian Jews indicated that Italy had accepted racial discrimination in the agreement.
According to the report, the UAR authorized the return to its territory of Italian citizens who left the country following the 1956 events. The report added that Premier Fanfani had specifically requested that all discriminations based on race or religion be completely excluded from the agreement and that the Premier’s request was “integrally” accepted by the United Arab Republic.
From Paris it was reported that following the recent conclusion of a Franco-Egyptian accord, Jewish refugees from Egypt in France have begun to cash in travelers checks and letters of credit. The limited funds the refugees were permitted to take with them at the time of their expulsion in late 1956 and early 1957 were in check and letter of credit form which could not be converted into cash until now. As a result of the pact, refugees living in any country may now cash their checks, if they are drawn on French banks.)
The much-postponed visit by Premier Amitore Fanfani to Israel is expected to take place between February 15 and 20, Italian newspapers reported today. They said that an official confirmation of the trip and the date will be announced soon.