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Eshkol Gives Knesset His Views on Khrushchev’s Statements in Cairo

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told Israel’s Parliament last night that there were grounds for hoping that Soviet Premier Khrushchev would not encourage the Arabs to resort to aggression against Israel’s national irrigation project.

Winding up a foreign policy debate concerning his visits during June and July to the United States and France, the Premier said he felt that the Soviets also would refrain from supporting Arab plans “designed to prevent our drawing the waters we are entitled to” from the Jordan River for the project.

He also asserted that Israel could not ignore the fact that Krushchev had proposed that the principle of rejecting changes by force in present territorial boundaries should apply also to the Middle East, including Israel. The Premier made the statements in reply to opposition party criticism of his description, during his visit to the United States, of some pro-Arab statements made by Khrushchev during a visit to Cairo last May as “moderate.”

Premier Eshkol added, however, that he had said he was apprehensive, and that he still was, concerning the interpretations that the Arabs might give to the Soviet Premier’s statements, particularly since he had promised to continue to supply arms to the Arab countries. He cited as another reason for his statements on the matter during his United States visit that he did not want to be involved in arousing any sharpening between United States and Soviet relations.

Replying to another criticism, he said he had on various occasions criticized the “satanic works” of West German scientists and technicians active in the development of advanced weapons in Egypt. He added that the Israel Government was doing everything possible to persuade the West German Government to prevent its scientists from helping the Egyptians to perfect destructive weapons for use against Israel.

The Premier said that the debate had demonstrated that there was unity on the principles of Israel’s foreign and security policy. He described these as comprising a policy that, while Israel seeks the support of friendly nations, it must strengthen its deterrent power.

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