Ceylon’s New Premier Indicates Intention to Alter Policy on Israel

Ceylon’s new Premier, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, has issued a statement indicating her Government intends to alter its friendly policy toward Israel, to appease the Arab League states. Ceylon and Israel have had the friendliest of relations for years. Two years ago, Ceylon bought two warships from Israel. Mrs. Bandaranaike’s statement, issued at her capital, Colombo, reads:

“The Government has had under review the accreditation of our Ambassador in Rome to Israel, and the circumstances under which this decision was taken by the care-taker government of Mr. Wijayananda Dahanayake. My Government feels that the accreditation was carried through without adequate regard to the special difficulties of the situation in the Middle East or proper consideration of the possible effects the action would have on our relations with the Arab governments.

“My Government recalls that, when the question of sending a diplomatic representative to Israel came up during the lifetime of the late Prime Minister (S. W. Bandaranaike, husband of the present Premier), he decided to refrain from doing so in recognition of the complexities of the situation in the Middle East.

“It is the view of my Government that the action of the caretaker government of Mr. Dahanayake reversed these basic policies. My Government now proposes to take certain urgent remedial measures with a view to strengthening and fostering our relations with the Arab countries.”

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