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U.S. Ambassador Predicts Arab-israel Peace ‘in Foreseeable Future’

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Persistence, quiet diplomacy and concentration on economic and social development among the Arab peoples in the Middle East are certain to result in Arab-Israeli peace “in the foreseeable future,” Ogden R. Reid, who has just resigned as United States Ambassador to Israel, declared here today upon his return aboard the SS United States. He has served more than a year and a half as American Ambassador to Israel, visiting Jordan and Lebanon, and discussing the Middle East situation with many other diplomats serving in the area.

“Peace will come,” he said, “peace must come. There is simply no alternative to peace.” It will take concentration and a great deal of patience, but the extension to the Arab lands of the economic and social progress observable in Israel is certain to make an impact toward peace in the entire area. When the standards of living of the Arab peoples are raised, there is no doubt that the present armistice agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors will be metamorphosed into peace treaties.

Mr. Reid had high praise for Israel, not only in regard to its officials and leaders but in regard to the Israeli people as a whole. He was especially laudatory of the treatment accorded by Israel to Arabs living in the country. “I have visited Nazareth, which is virtually an all-Arab city,” he said, “and have been in many Arab towns and villages. You see and feel the progress being made by the Israeli Arabs at every turn. Vast strides have been made by the Israel Government to extend education among the Arabs in the country, and to extend all opportunities in general to the Arab citizens in the land. The Ministry of Health has done truly remarkable work among the Israeli Arabs.”

Mr. Reid, who is only 35, had learned Hebrew before assuming his post. Both he and his wife. Mary Louise, studied Hebrew at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Mrs. Reid said that, in Israel she used a Hebrew name, Miriam. Her fourth child, Elizabeth, was born in Israel, and was also given a Hebrew name–Elisheva. Mr. Reid was formally greeted aboard the SS United States by Israel’s Consul-General in New York, Binyamin Eliav, who extended to the returning American diplomat the greetings of Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Avraham Harman.

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