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Golda Meir Challenges Nasser to Immediate Peace Talks with Israel

Mrs. Golda Meir, Foreign Minister of Israel, today challenged President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the United Arab Republic to make good on his expressed desire for peace in the world by entering into peace negotiations with Israel immediately.

Mrs. Meir made her statement in an interview here for Radio Rivadavia, of Buenos Aires, with an Argentine broadcaster, Juan Lefcovich. The interview took place immediately after Nasser addressed the General Assembly. Asked for her reaction to the Nasser speech, she replied:

“Mr. Nasser in his statement spoke about some principles in which he says he believes I and my government and my country are ready to accept. They are the following:

“1. The safeguarding of the Charter of the United Nations, 2. A general declaration about the desire of peace in the world. 3. His suggestion that the problems of the world that may endanger the peace of the world should be resolved by negotiation.

“For instance, he called upon President Eisenhower and Mr. Khrushchev to meet and to negotiate disarmament and other outstanding problems between the two blocs. In the name of Israel, I say that we are prepared to accept these principles.

“The Charter of the United Nations, in its first Article refers to peace in the world, to the solution of all problems by peaceful negotiation and not by any sort of boycott by one country against another. We say to Mr. Nasser: If you desire peace in the world, there should also be a desire for peace in every part of the world.

“It is not a secret that our area is one where there are difficulties, because Mr. Nasser says that he is in a state of belligerance against Israel. This is why we say to Mr. Nasser that he should sit down with us and start immediate negotiations to arrive at peaceful solution of the problems between Israel and the United Arab Republic. We are ready also to sit down with any other or with all of the leaders of the Arab states to negotiate the peace immediately. This would be a concrete contribution to peace in the world.”

IMPLIES BEN-GURION WOULD BE READY TO TALK TO NASSER AT U.N

Asked whether there is a chance that she would see Mr. Nasser while she and the United Arab Republic President are here, Mrs. Meir replied: “If Mr. Nasser is willing to speak with us, it will be a pleasure for us to speak with him about peace. If he does not want to see me because he is President and I am only a Minister, and he wants to see the Prime Minister, our Prime Minister has said repeatedly in our Parliament and on many other occasions that he is ready to see him at any time or in any place–or to see the leader of any other Arab state, to discuss peace. If Mr. Nasser wants to see me, I am ready to see him, at any moment.”

Mrs. Meir said she did not think that Nasser’s presence here would change the policies of either the United States or the United Nations. “Until Mr. Nasser is ready to act according to his declarations, he really cannot have any influence whatsoever,” she said.

Mrs. Meir spoke about Israel’s friendly relations with the new African nations, and said, in reply to another question, that relations between Israel and Argentina are once again friendly She stated: “Argentina always was considered by Israel as one of its best friends, like all other Latin American countries. It is a source of encouragement to us that our relations with all the Latin American countries were too good.”

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