TEL AVIV (Aug. 21)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion left today for Stockholm via Zurich on the first leg of a month-long tour of five Scandinavian countries.
Before departing with his entourage on an El Al plane, the Prime Minister said the goal of the visit was to “deepen and strengthen friendly ties with these countries.” He also said that his visits to Sweden, Denmark and Norway would be “return visits” for those made by the Premiers of the three countries to Israel. The visit to Finland and Iceland will be the first at that level.
The Prime Minister remarked before boarding the plane that he hoped Israel “would become more united in the face of the dangers threatening it.” He is being accompanied by Mrs. Ben-Gurion, his daughter, Dr. Rennana Leshem, his private secretary and a military aide.
Mr. Ben-Gurion was seen off by President and Mrs. Ben-Zvi whose arrival at the airport was considered a surprise because the President was still resting from his tour of Africa. Members of the diplomatic corps and of Israel’s Parliament, as well as army officers and an army guard of honor, also witnessed the Prime Minister’s departure. Four Air Force jets made a fly past at the airport. The Jets later accompanied the El Al plane to Israel’s border.