King of Nepal Arrives with Queen in Israel; Defies Arab Efforts

King Mahendra of Nepal arrived here this morning for a week-long state visit with his Queen, Nepalese Premier Tulsi Giri and four senior Nepalese army officers. The royal guests were met at the airport by President Zalman Shazar, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Cabinet Ministers, members of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, and a group of Nepalese students studying in Israel.

Four Super Mystere Israeh Air Force Jets flew past in a salute formation, as the King stepped from the plane and was greeted with a 21-gun salute.

The visitors immediately left for Jerusalem, where schoolchildren lined the streets to greet the King’s arrival. The King and his entourage were then given an official reception by Acting Mayor Rabbi M. Porush and the members of the Jerusalem Municipal Council.

Tonight, the King was the guest of honor at a state dinner given by President Shazar. The itinerary of the royal guests includes a visit Wednesday to Sde Boker for a meeting with former Premier David Ben-Gurion; an overnight stay at Beersheba’s Desert Inn; and a reception by the Nepalese Students Union in Israel. More than 60 Nepalese students are training in this country in various fields. On Thursday, the King will be the guest of the Israel Army, at a special Air Force display.

Arab efforts to forestall the visit have continued since last year, when representatives of the Arab states boycotted an Indian government reception given to King Mahencra during the monarch’s official visit to India. The visit here was seen as reaffirming Nepal’s determination to pursue its policy of close friendship with Israel. It is expected to culminate with a Joint statement of friendship and cooperation to be issued by the heads of state of the two countries.

NEXT STORY