STOCKHOLM (May. 10)
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, told a press conference here today that Israel was prepared to participate in a demilitarization of the Middle East area without waiting for the major powers to act for general demilitarization.
Mrs. Meir, who is in Sweden on an official visit, also said that Israel was engaged only in research into the peaceful uses of atomic energy and not in weapons research. She said that Israel was opposed in principle to all weapons and added that Israel was prepared to enter a peace agreement or even long-term non-aggression agreements with the Arab countries.
She expressed hope that Algeria would emerge as an independent state respecting the rights of others but added that Israel feared an independent Algeria would follow the paths of “a certain other neighbor, ” presumably a reference to Morocco.
Mrs. Meir said she regretted the fact that the SAS airline discontinued its flights to Israel in 1958 but declined to comment on the responsibility for the decision. She added Israel hoped the flights would be resumed. She also said that after July 1, Swedish citizens will not need a visa to visit Israel. Such visas will be issued to Swedish visitors without cost on their arrival.
The Israel Foreign Minister was honored with a Government dinner last night at which Foreign Minister Osten Unden declared that Israel’s restoration was the answer to the attempts of the Nazis to obliterate the Jewish people from the earth. He told the dinner guests that many Swedes had returned from Israel full of admiration for the spirit shown by Israelis in building their state.
Mrs. Meir, as a guest of the city of Stockholm, today visited various welfare institutions in the city and was tendered a luncheon by Councillor Inga Thorsson. The guests included Mrs. Erlander, wife of the Premier, and leaders of all Swedish women’s groups. Mrs. Thorsson described a visit to Israel and lauded Israel’s achievements. Mrs. Meir said Israel’s upbuilding would have been impossible without the active participation of women. Members of the Swedish Cabinet and Parliament and other leaders attended a reception given for Mrs. Meir by the Israel Ambassador tonight.