Collapse of Summit Talks Increases Danger for Israel. Meir Tells Knesset
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Collapse of Summit Talks Increases Danger for Israel. Meir Tells Knesset

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Mrs. Golda Meir, the Foreign Minister, today told the Knesset (Parliament) that “one of the most dangerous consequences” of the collapse of the Summit meeting in Paris may be “a flow of armaments, in tremendous quantities, to Arab countries, particularly to Egypt. “

Such a flow of arms to Egypt, she said, could result now in spite of the fact that “Egypt in no manner conceals the purpose for which she is acquiring arms, ” Moreover, she added, the interlocking tensions enable Egypt to engage in blackmailing maneuvers in both the Eastern and Western blocs.

In accordance with the government’s basic principle. Mrs. Meir declared. “Israel will support every step toward world disarmament, subject to effective and continuing international supervision. ” Until world disarmament under such conditions is achieved, she asserted, “Israel continues to propose to all of her neighbors complete regional disarmament under mutual controls and inspection. “


Turning to the subject of the Suez Canal blockade against Israeli shipping and goods, and to the Arab blacklisting of ships trading with Israel, Mrs. Meir told Parliament that “the time has, perhaps, come to bring the whole matter before appropriate United Nations organs.

The Foreign Minister then recalled that she had told the Knesset last winter that Israel had reason to believe there had been an understanding between United Arab Republic President Gamal Abdel Nasser and United Nations Secretary General Dag HammarskJold about arrangements under which certain shipping could go through the Suez Canal, carrying Israeli goods or goods bound for Israel–if those goods had been sold f. o. b. Haifa or were being brought to Israel while owned by foreigners.

Quoting Mr. Hammarskjold’s recent statement to the effect that there was no agreement between him and Nasser on this point, she stated: “I have not a single word to add or retract” from the statement to the Knesset that she made last winter. In regard to suggestions by Mr, Hammarskjold that a “practical solution” be sought for the Suez problem, Mrs. Meir warned against “further concessions” to Nasser.

She complained about the World Bank’s loan to the United Arab Republic for widening the Suez Canal “despite Israel’s protests that the Egyptians be first asked to observe international obligations and United Nations resolutions” regarding freedom of passage through the Canal. Nasser, said Mrs. Meir, is continuing his “subversive activities, particularly in Jordan and Iraq. Because of his lack of success in those directions, he has been looking for victories in his campaign against Israel. “


Turning to Israel’s relations with Eastern Europe, Mrs, Meir told Parliament that “despite all our efforts, the Soviet Union has not permitted relations of substance with us. The USSR has thereby displayed a marked attitude of discrimination, in contrast with her policies of economic and cultural relations with all countries. “

Mrs, Meir pointed out that the Soviet Union rejected Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s proposal to visit Russia’s Prime Minister Nikita Kheushchev. In that rejection, she said, “the last sentence of the Soviet reply stated that Russia wants friendly relation with all Middle Eastern countries if mutual aspiration and mutual interest of that kind exist. On Israel’s part, ” she asserted, “both aspiration and mutual interest exist. “

The Foreign Minister reviewed Israel’s relations with Afro-Asian countries. The trust those nations have in Israel, she declared, “places us under heavy obligations. We will strive not to disappoint our friends.” Israel, she reported, has 22 major economic undertakings now, in nine countries, employing more than 300 Israelis on those projects.

In summing up, Mrs, Meir said there was “One negative, and one positive” factor, bearing on Israel’s present political situation. “The negative factor, ” she said, “is the Cairo Government’s effort to cripple Israel’s development.” She saw a “constructive factor” in Israel’s “consolidation of her position among the family of nations, Israel growing in defensive strength as well as increasing its economic strength. “

“We have broken through the political siege imposed against us on the international scene, ” she concluded. “However, so long as the Arab states believe we have not yet consolidated our statehood, there can be no talk of peace. The turning point toward peace will come only when they come to accept our strength of offensive, economic and political power. “

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