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Eshkol Confers with Soviet Envoy on Israel’s Irrigation Project

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Prime Minister Levi Eshkol conferred today with Soviet Ambassador Mikhail Bodrov for 30 minutes and while no details of the meeting were disclosed, it was assumed that the Prime Minister presented the Soviet envoy with Israel’s position on its Jordan River irrigation project.

The Prime Minister has declared publicly Israel will not be deterred from implementing the massive project by Arab threats voiced last week at a summit conference in Cairo.

Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, declared today in an interview that negotiations on all Israel-Arab differences, including the Jordan River irrigation project, was “the only way” Leading to peace. She also reaffirmed Israel’s determination “to use our strength and our deterrent capacity to repulse all attempts to harm us.”

Meanwhile, it was disclosed that Israel’s reply to Soviet Premier Khrushchev’s message advocating that all nations undertake to reject the use of force in settling border disputes will be delivered this week by Yosef Tekoa, the Israeli envoy in Moscow. The newspaper Maariv reported that the Israel Foreign Ministry instructed the envoy to try to hand the Israeli reply to Khrushchev personally.

Whether such a meeting with the Soviet Premier has been arranged was not yet known here. In the reply, Israel supports the Soviet Premier’s proposal and expresses the hope that the principle advocated by the Premier applies to the Middle East as well.

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