WASHINGTON (Aug. 6)
A report by an Israeli Cabinet member that the United Arab Republic approached an American firm about obtaining the new Israeli process for desalting sea water was denied yesterday by a spokesman for the UAR Embassy here.
Mordechai Ben-Tov, Israel Development Minister, said last Thursday that the UAR contacted the Fairbanks Whitney Corp. which has sales rights in the western hemisphere for the process devised by Dr. Alexander Zarchin, a Russian emigre now settled in Israel. The Minister said that Israel would be ready to sell the equipment to the UAR after production was started in three years. A plant now under construction in Eilat is scheduled to go into operation at the end of this year.
The UAR spokesman said that “upon contacting Fairbanks Whitney to ascertain their alleged UAR contact, we were told that no overtures by the UAR for the acquisition of this process have ever been made in the United States”. However, a spokesman for the corporation in New York City confirmed that its Washington, D.C. office had been approached by representatives of the UAR in the last two months and that they had been referred to the Israel Government.