JERUSALEM (May. 11)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion will pay an official visit to France next month, and will meet with French President Charles de Gaulle on June 14, authoritative sources disclosed today.
After visiting France. Mr. Ben-Gurion will proceed to The Netherlands and, thence, to Belgium, The Dutch visit, too. it was stated here, will be of an official nature. It has not yet been decided whether the visit to Belgium will be official or semi-official.
Last week, the French Government gave the Israel Ambassador in Paris. Walter Eytan, alternative dates when President de Gaulle would be able to spend most time with Mr. Ben-Gurion. Among the dates, the Israeli leader chose June 14 as most suitable.
Mr. Ben-Gurion will leave for France June 10. He will spend several days there before going on to The Hague and Brussels.
Through his visit with President de Gaulle. Mr. Ben-Gurion will have carried not three-fourths of his projected plan to confer this year with the leaders of the Big Four Powers. He conferred in March with President Eisenhower in Washington, then with Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The only leader of the Big Four Powers who has, thus far, refused to meet with Mr. Ben-Gurion is Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union.
It was no secret here that plans were under way for a Ben-Gurion – de Gaulle meeting even prior to the Israeli leader’s mission to Washington and London. Only the date were in doubt, and this point has now been resolved.
Mr. Ben-Gurion’s visits to The Netherlands and Belgium, following his French trip, will bring him in touch with the heads of two Western countries that have been, for years, most friendly with Israel. Both at The Hague and at Brussels, Israel rates highly as the leading Middle Eastern democracy friendly to the West. Belgium’s Queen Mother Elizabeth, long outspokenly a warm friend of Israel, visited here last year and was received with great enthusiasm.