BRUSSELS (Jul. 1)
A key official of the European Economic Community admitted today that negotiations with Israel for trade ties to the six-nation European Common Market had been “disappointing and insufficient.”
The statement was made by Jean Rey, a Minister of the EEC Commission in charge of its foreign relations. He made the statement during the current session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg at which a number of delegates expressed disappointment at the meager results of the talks. He expressed the hope that further progress would be made during the year.
In two rounds of negotiations, an EEC negotiating team rebuffed Israel’s bid for some kind of associate status with Euromart or a system of preferential concessions for its numerous exports to the six nations. The EEC negotiators offered only some concessions on three relatively minor categories of Israeli exports and a proposal for joint commission to review situations of particularly acute pressures on Israeli exports arising from Euromart tariff policies. Israel rejected that offer.
“We made considerable efforts to explain the economic situation very precisely in the talks with Israel,” Mr. Rey said. “We started our negotiations with Israel with the thought of reaching a commercial agreement which would give satisfaction. In dealing with Israel, it was not a question of agreement on one product, but rather a commercial accord. Our negotiations have fallen into a situation which I do not hesitate to declare disappointing.”
He added that at the last series of talks, “the Israelis presented a new series of very interesting proposals and these will have to be examined. I would simply say to the Parliament that I request that our administration examine and give to our commission in July a decision in the truly realistic spirit in which they were proposed.”