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Johnson Sees Ben-gurion, Golda Meir on Arab-refugee Problem

After four weeks of consultations with the topmost leaders of Israel’s neighboring states, as well as with Israeli leaders whom he has visited here twice in the last month, Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, special envoy of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission, charged with seeking some solutions toward easement of the Arab refugee problem, left here today for Geneva to draft his report. He held his second round of consultations here with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Foreign Minister Golda Meir, but left without indicating what plans, if any, he has regarding the Arab refugee situation. He is expected to issue his report at the United Nations in New York.

Meanwhile, it became known here, the PCC is preparing an announcement disclosing agreement with Israel for release of more bank deposits belonging to Arab refugees, heretofore held in small banks in this country. The deposits involve an estimated $700,000. Three years ago, Israel released nearly $8,000,000 worth of such deposits held previously in three large banks–Barclays the Ottoman Bank and the Arab Bank, Ltd. Israel is also willing to release Arab refugee valuables held in safe deposit boxes here. An arrangement for such a transfer was agreed upon in principle in 1956, but Egypt and Syria changed their minds about accepting these valuables.

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