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Return of Dayan Cues Possibility of Full Israeli-ethiopian Relations

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Agriculture Minister Mushe Dayan returned home unexpectedly last night from an official visit to Ethiopia, to confer with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Mr. Dayan, who met last week with Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and government officials in Addis Ababa, had been scheduled to proceed directly to Nigeria to represent Israel at that country’s independence celebrations next weekend. He will fly to Lagos tomorrow evening, after his talks with the Premier.

Political observer’s here link Mr. Dayan’s sudden return home with speculation concerning the possibility of the establishment of full diplomatic recognition of Israel by Ethiopia. Relations between the two countries so far have been only on the consular level.

Mr. Dayan did not disclose the nature of his talks with Ethiopian leaders, but said they were held in a “most friendly atmosphere” and were devoted to “various subjects.” It was learned, however, that a large-scale survey of Ethiopian agricultural potentialities as well as an Israel-Ethiopian partnership in fishing ventures, were among the possibilities for cooperation between the two countries discussed by Mr. Dayan and Ethiopian officials.

The Israel Agriculture Minister was taken on an serial survey of the Ethiopian countryside in a plane placed at his disposal by the Emperor. Israeli firms, for some time now, have been undertaking significant road construction projects in Ethiopia, which have been carried out to the satisfaction of government officials.

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