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Israel Willing to Negotiate Pact for Link to Euromart Countries

The second round of talks between Israelis and Euromart negotiators was over today with the Israelis on record as still seeking a general overall agreement, but willing to consider a more limited temporary pact if this would ease the growing pinch on Israeli exports to the six European nations.

The second round began on June 5 and included a flat rebuff to Israel hopes for a preferential agreement to cover a majority of the 200 products Israel exports to the six nations. On instructions from the European Economic Council of Ministers, the chief governing body of Euromart, the EEC negotiators told the Israelis that an overall agreement was out of the question. The negotiators offered instead tariff concessions on bathing suits, grapefruit and fertilizers and proposed a joint committee to consider Israeli complaints of especially painful tariff pressures on its exports.

The Israeli negotiators rejected these proposals as not providing a basis for an agreement and reiterated that only a “global agreement” which took into consideration both the highly diversified pattern of Israel’s foreign trade and the dynamic aspects of the Israeli economy, would solve the problems posed for Israel by the creation of Euromart.

However, the Israelis added, they were ready to negotiate a more limited temporary agreement if it would provide solutions to the immediate or most pressing problems. For that purpose, the Israelis provided at the final plenary session last Thursday a set of detailed technical proposals.

Some EEC sources indicated that the proposals might be a basis for a somewhat better agreement than the EEC had offered in the two rounds of talks but that they would have to be referred back to the Council of Ministers. A third round of talks, would be possible only if the Ministers Council issued orders to that effect.

Following the conclusion of the second round of talks, Ambassador Emil Najar, head of the Israeli Mission to the EEC, met with Jean Rey, Minister of the EEC Commission in charge of foreign relations. Details as to what was discussed at the meeting were not disclosed but EEC sources said that the final proposals of the Israeli delegation might be submitted to the next Ministers Council in Brussels on July 10.

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