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Vice President Johnson Will Not Visit Israel on Middle East Trip

President Kennedy today discussed Middle Eastern issues with the new Lebanese Ambassador Ibrahim AI-Ahdab and invited the ambassador to return to the White House this afternoon for a farewell function honoring Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson who is departing on a trip to the Middle East.

Vice President Johnson will visit Lebanon, Cyprus, Iran, Greece and Turkey to reaffirm American support of those regimes and to dramatize American steadfastness toward them. The idea of including Israel on his Middle Eastern itinerary was rejected because such a visit might be “misinterpreted” by the Arab states, it was learned.