JERUSALEM (Jul. 19)
The possibility that the Arab states might use the current summit conference of African heads of state, meeting in Cairo, as a sounding board against Israel was discounted here today by Bediako Poku, Ghana’s Ambassador to Israel.
In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, the Ambassador said that “uneasiness” over such a possibility fails to take into account “the tremendous amount of good will existing in many parts of Africa toward Israel. ” Most African leaders, Mr. Poku declared, are for peace. Reports that they might be swung toward an anti-Israeli move, he said, “give the erroneous impression that the African leaders may lack the stamina and the sagacity to make independent decisions. “
The Ghanaian Ambassador’s statement was seen here as confirmed by dispatches from Cairo, reporting that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who has engineered anti-Israel resolutions at most conferences of Africans and Asians, stated flatly that he does not intend to offer such a resolution at this time.
In his Cairo address, the Egyptian ruler told the conference, attended by the heads of nearly all of the 34 member states from Africa; “For us Israel is a problem that is part of an imperialist conspiracy to loot a land in what the imperialists call ‘settling.’ As a result, many Arabs were uprooted from their homes and now are refugees outside their own land. “
He said this was part of a problem which the Arabs shared with Africans, but, he added: “We do not need resolutions from this conference, and we have none in our briefcases to submit. All we ask is that you devote deep scrutiny to this problem and give it careful study. Then we are sure you will understand our position. “
It was believed that Nasser had decided to avoid seeking an anti-Israel resolution which might have faced defeat from African nations with which Israel has developed aid and trade relations. Israel is conducting technical aid programs in more than 20 African countries and helping to educate many African doctors and other professionals and specialists.