LIMA, Peru (Jul. 9)
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel Foreign Minister, was en route to Guatemala today after a four-day official visit to Peru during which she signed an Israel-Peru commercial agreement.
The signing took place in the ancient Torretagle Palace, now the Peruvian Foreign Ministry building. Foreign Minister Paul Porras, signing for Peru, called the Jews “a heroic and sacred people.” He said he expected the commercial agreement to produce substantial commercial transactions between the two nations “which also will intensify the cultural and technological relations between our peoples, who have so many problems in common.”
Mrs. Meir thanked Mr. Porras and said Israel “never signs agreements against anybody but only positive agreements for humanity’s ideals.” Later Mrs. Meir was received in Lima’s ancient town hall in a ceremony attended by Mayor Garcia Ribeiro, Mr. Porras, city councillors and many other Jewish and non-Jewish dignitaries. Mayor Ribeiro presented Mrs. Meir with a silver key replica.
Responding in Hebrew, Mrs. Meir thanked the Government and people of Peru for the honors and friendly reception she had received. She emphasized the historic significance of the fact that for the first time in history, the Hebrew language was being heard in Lima’s Town Hall opposite the plaza where during the Inquisition, Jews were burned at the stake.
Mrs. Meir also was received by President Prado and the First Lady. She thanked the President for his anti-Nazi attitude during World War II and Peru’s traditional sympathy for Israel. Some 600 persons attended a reception sponsored by the Israel Embassy. Mrs. Meir also was guest of honor at a major banquet sponsored by the Jewish community of Lima. She was accompanied to the airfield for her departure by Foreign Minister Porras and hundreds of other persons.