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Suez Issue Placed in a ‘new Light’ by U.N. Debate, Golda Meir Says

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The general debate in this year’s General Assembly, during which an overwhelming number of governments announced support of Israel’s insistence on freedom of navigation, has placed the entire Suez Canal issue in “a new light” as far as Israel is concerned, Mrs. Golda Meir, Foreign Minister of Israel, declared here today at a press conference prior to her return to Israel.

To date, 21 of 33 governments from whom an expression of opinion might have been expected on the Suez issue have supported the principle of freedom of navigation openly in the general debate, Mrs. Meir stated. In addition, she conferred privately during the last three weeks with 35 foreign ministers attending this year’s Assembly session.

“Israel feels that there has been an expression of public opinion in the general debate on freedom of navigation through the Suez Canal,” Mrs. Meir said. “The entire issue is a serious matter for the Government to consider. I can repeat now what I said in the general debate to the effect that we will not acquiesce to the illegal discrimination against us. Israel must now await anxiously the effects that this broad expression of public opinion will have on the United Arab Republic. Our Government will now discuss the situation anew in the light of all the developments.”

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