JERUSALEM (May. 3)
The Soviet Union has rejected Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s request for a meeting with Premier Khrushchev as “premature,” an Israel Cabinet spokesman disclosed today.
The spokesman said that the rejection had been given orally by Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Malik to Arieh Harel, the Israel Ambassador to the Soviet Union. The Israel envoy was told that the matter would be reconsidered when “the time is ripe.”
The spokesman said that the explanation given by Mr. Malik was that Israel public figures, including Cabinet Ministers, had made statements which “were not of a peace loving nature” and that, in view of such statements, a visit by the Israel Prime Minister “to Russia would be premature.”
The explanation was supplemented by a statement that the Soviet policy would continue to be based on a desire for good relations “with all Middle East nations without discrimination.” The rejection had been made April 26 but the news was withheld pending a report by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, today to the Cabinet.