PARIS (Jun. 5)
Israel Premier Levi Eshkol will begin tomorrow a series of tours of French military installations and agricultural and industrial enterprises. His first tour will be a one-day visit today to model farms and agricultural institutions, escorted by the French Minister of Agriculture, M. Edgar Pisani. Premier Eshkol spent the weekend at the country estate of Baron Edmond de Rothschild at Armenvillier’s, which is surrounded by high walls and flanked by dozens of guards and French police officers.
The Premier’s two-day rest followed a hectic week in Paris during which he held talks with President de Gaulle, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou, Foreign Minister Maurice Couve De Murville and Defense Minister Pierre Messmer. Mr. Eshkol’s activities Friday were symbolic of his crowded schedule as well as of the warm friendship and understanding, shown to Israel in many French circles.
Mr. Eshkol and his entourage were received in the morning at the Paris City Hall, and escorted through the centuries-old building by Paris Mayer Jean Legaret. The Mayor stressed the close ties between France and Israel. Mr. Eshkol spoke of the parallel between the world’s two most famous cities–Jerusalem, where three religions are enshrined and Paris where the rights of man were first recognized and proclaimed.
Later in the day, the Premier was guest of honor at a luncheon given by the Franco-Israeli Friendship League. Present there were three cabinet ministers–Minister of Justice Jean Foyer, Minister of Labor Gilbert Grandval, and Minister of Housing Jacques Maziol; army generals, members of Parliament and the French Academy, and dozens of other important personalities.
Welcoming Mr. Eshkol, the League’s President, Diomede Catroux, a former Minister, said that “the friendship between our two countries is deep and lasting; it is no accidental episode in our history. ” He also repeated the promise made to Israel by all important French political personalities; “France will always be by your side should you need her.”
Replying in Hebrew, Mr. Eshkol described how “close France is to our hearts, ” adding that his feeling in Paris was “one of being among trusted and old friends. ” The Premier reviewed the major subjects covered during his talks with President de Gaulle last week, stressing that a full unity of views had been reached on all issues discussed.