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Israel Will Not Recognize Katanga; Favors Overall Congo Government

Israel will not recognize an independent Katanga, the Congolese province which opposes Premier Patrice Lumumba, Ehud Avriel, the Israel Ambassador to the strife-wracked Congo, said in a public address here today. He said Israel would recognize only the legal government of the entire Congo Republic whoever its head turns out to be.

The Ambassador is in Israel for consultations with the Foreign Ministry on Israel-Congo relations and his own personal plans. He had accepted the Leopoldville post after his return from a strenuous tour of duty as Ambassador to Ghana and agreed to take, the Congo assignment on a temporary basis. He indicated he would like to return to Israel but the Israel Government was understood to feel that the current Congo crisis made a change of ambassadors inadvisable.