Menu JTA Search

Ben-gurion ‘unpleasantly Surprised’ by Unu’s Views on Arab Rights

Prime Minister David Ben-Guriontold the Cabiret yesterday that he was “unpleasantly surprised” by the joint statement issued in Cairo by Burmese Premier U Nu and United Arab Republic President Gamal Abdel Nasser declaring “support for the full restoration of all rights of the Arab people of Palestine in conformity with the Charter and United Nations resolutions.”

The statement was issued by President Nasser and Premier U Nu at the end of the latter’s five-day visit to Cairo and less than a week after Israeli Premier Ben-Gurion concluded a 16-day visit to the Burmese Premier in Rangoon.

Observers here noted that the Cairo statement is a verbatim repetition of the paragraph on Palestine adopted by the neutralist “summit conference” in Belgrade last September. At that conference, President Nasser had pressed for a sharp anti-Israel statement but his efforts were thwarted by Premier U Nu who secured the adoption of the milder version.

Premier Ben-Gurion, who was asked for his reaction to the Cairo statement after he reported to the Cabinet on his visit to Burma, said that his appreciation for Premier U Nu remained unchanged. In his report on the trip, Mr. Ben-Gurion stressed the political, economic and cultural importance of Israel’s ties with Burma, which he described as a powerful factor in Asia and the spiritual center of Buddhism.

He expressed the hope that there would be an interchange between Burmese and Israeli scholars and students so that the Burmese people would know what Judaism and the Jewish people stand for and in order that Israclis would learn the tremendous force of Buddhism as a philosophy.

At the same Cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Golda Meir reported on the deliberations at the United Nations concerning the Arab refugee debate. Interior Minister Moshe Shapira, who had attended a session of the UN Special Political Committee during his recent visit to the United States, lauded the work of the entire Israel delegation to the United Nations, particularly citing delegation chairman Michael Comay for praise during the session of the General Assembly.

NEXT STORY