BRUSSELS (Mar. 11)
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, described today as “an important stop forward” the mandate of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community offering Israel tariff concessions on a number of its exports to the six Euromart countries. Negotiations on the proposals will begin between EEC negotiators and Israel at a third round of talks, on March 19.
Speaking at a press conference, Mrs. Meir expressed the hope that the Council’s directives would serve as a basis for a wider agreement with the EEC and enable israel to find a “Just solution” to its economic problems.
Mrs. Meir concluded today a three-day visit to the Belgian capital, during which she was received in audience by King Baudouin, and conferred with many leading Belgian officials, as well as with Dr. Walter Hallstein, president of the EEC executive committee. She told the press conference that she had found “a great deal of comprehension and friendship toward Israel during all my contacts here.”
She reiterated Israel’s willingness to “talk at any time, and with all Arab states, collectively or singly, on all possible differences between us.” She said that, it the Arab leaders were not ready to open specific peace negotiations. Israel was ready, nevertheless, to negotiate “on any single item of mutual interest.” She reiterated also Israel’s willingness to accept total disarmament of the Middle East area under international control.
Prime Minister Leo Lefevre headed the dignitaries who attended a luncheon tendered to Mrs. Meir by Amiel Najar, Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium. Others included Paul-Henri Spaak, the Foreign Minister; Paul Struye, president of the Senate; Msgr. Oddi, the Apostolic Nuncio, here; the Ambassadors from several countries, various Cabinet Ministers as well as leaders of the European Common Market.
A reception tendered to Mrs. Meir last night by the Zionist Federation of Antwerp turned out to be a mass meeting. Before the reception, she was guest of honor at a dinner tendered by the Zionist Federation of Belgium attended by Zionist leaders and Jewish organization representatives. She discussed the problems of Zionism at the dinner and the need to guarantee the survival of Judaism by reinforcement of aliyah to Israel.