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Assembly of European Nations Favors Better Trade Pacts with Israel

The Council of Minister of the European Economic Community, key policy making body of the EEC, will take up proposals for wider trade with Israel by countries of the European Common Market at its next meeting, on February 4, it was reported here today.

The proposals are now being prepared by a special EEC commission following the adoption last weekend of a resolution by the Consultative Assembly of the EEC, at its meeting in Strasbourg, urging the Council of Ministers to call on their governments to reach quick agreements with Israel on its export trade. The resolution was offered at the 17-nation Assembly by A. Vos, rapporteur, a Dutch Socialist who visited Israel last October.

Meanwhile, the Political Commission of the EEC, at a meeting in Strasbourg today, approved a report on the political aspects of trade relations between the European Economic Community and Israel. The report was presented by Ludwig Metzger, West German Socialist. In approving the report, the Commission suggested the reaching of a general trade agreement with Israel should be concluded without stipulating any preference.

The resolution adopted by the Assembly of the 17 West European nations noted that the difficulties facing Israeli exports “do not arise from the internal economic policies of Israel but from the development of the EEC, through the progressive realization of the common external tariff and the implementation of the common agricultural policy.”

GOVERNMENTS URGED TO REACH AGREEMENTS BEFORE END OF THIS YEAR

The resolution “deplored the fact that negotiations between the EEC and Israel have not yet been successful and that, following the refusal of the EEC to conclude a treaty of association which could have solved Israel’s trade problems, negotiations for satisfactory trade agreements are so protracted, causing difficulties in Israel, particularly with regard to investment growth.”

The resolution recommended that Council of Ministers “should urge the governments concerned, and especially the member states of the EEC, to reach arrangements as soon as possible and in any event before the end of 1964.” It urged arrangements which would open “increased outlets for Israel products” in member countries as well as “to find ways and means of solving the difficulties that arise for Israel’s economy as a result of formation of economic trading blocs in Europe.”

Mr. Vos, in opening the meeting, said that if the Arab states had reached the same development as that of Israel, “the situation would be quite different in the Middle East.” Camille Linden of Luxembourg stressed the moral obligation of Europe to help Israel which he said was in fact a European country in the Middle East. Peter Jacobs, a West German Socialist, said the strengthening of Israeli trade was not only a moral obligation but a goal also in conformity with the interests of the EEC member states.

Two Israeli Members of Parliament, S. Abramov and Haitn Zadik, attended the meeting as observers. Abramov took part in the discussion and stressed the urgency of concluding commercial agreements between the Euromart countries and Israel as a first step.

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