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Knesset Hears Report on Ben-gurion’s Request for Talks in Moscow

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The fact that Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion did request a meeting in Moscow with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was finally confirmed officially in Parliament here today.

Mr. Khrushchev had told newsmen in Paris, before leaving the French capital a few days ago, that there had been no request for a meeting with Ben-Gurion. Israeli circles here expressed surprise when the Khrushchev statement was received in press dispatches. Today Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, appearing in the Knesset on behalf of Mr. Ben-Gurion-who is on vacation-set all unofficial reports straight.

Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, said Mr. Eshkol, made a “formal” request to visit Moscow about four months ago in a conversation with Michael Bodrov, the Soviet Ambassador here, Mr.Ben-Gurion had told the Russian envoy he was willing to meet with the Soviet leader at the latter’s convenience.

When Mr. Ben-Gurion returned from his trip to Washington and London, the Finance Minister continued, he was told by Mr. Bodrov that there was as yet no answer to the request from his government. According to Mr. Eshkol’s official statement, Mr. Bodrov said he would visit Moscow soon, and would inquire into the status of the Ben-Gurion request.

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