JERUSALEM (Sep. 17)
Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker of Canada said today, on the eve of his departure after a week-long visit, that on the basis of his discussions in Egypt and Israel, he hoped the day was not too distant when the Israel-Arab problems would be resolved.
Adding that he had not undertaken any mediation steps in the two countries, he stated that he would be glad to take any steps in that direction if he had reasonable assurances these steps would lead to peace.
Asked about his views on nuclear developments in Israel, he replied he was convinced that these developments did not involve any aggressive objectives and that they were geared to peaceful purposes.
Describing his visit to Israel, he said “these have been most happy days” and he expressed appreciation for the warm hospitality extended to him. He stressed the “tremendous developments” which had taken place in Israel since his visit in 1954 and he hailed the devotion of the Israelis in bringing about the wide expansion.
He also said that he saw the possibility of further growth of Israeli-Canadian trade relations and he emphasized the “tremendous interest” of Canadian Jewry in Israel which he called indicative of the interest of the Canadian people as a whole.