NEW DELHI (Mar. 29)
President Nasser of the United Arab Republic arrived here today for a 12-day visit in an atmosphere markedly lacking in public enthusiasm and without anti-Israel editorial opinions in the Indian press.
Official sources were quoted today as indicating that Israel’s growing economic and cultural ties with Asian and African countries are likely to be brought up by President Nasser in his talks with Premier Nehru. The Times of India, citing such sources, also said that Nasser probably would give Nehru an idea of the “Arab case” against Israel.
(The Times of London reported today that the first two days of Nasser’s visit to India would be devoted mainly to exchanges of views on Middle East issues and international affairs as they affect underdeveloped countries. The two leaders also were expected to discuss the prospects for a second Bandung Conference, The Times said.)
Political observers emphasized the importance of the absence of anti-Israel undertones in press comment and in private statements by Indian officials on the UAR leader’s visit, particularly in comparison with the reaction to Nasser’s first visit several years ago.
The Government of India provided a variety of public transport in an effort to assure a heavy turnout on the streets through which Nasser passed. But public response was poor, few cheers were heard, and no roses were thrown as is the Indian custom in greeting such visitors.