BOGOTA, Colombia (Oct. 14)
President Guillermo Leon Valencia gave Deputy Premier Abba Eban of Israel firm and emphatic assurance today of his decision to “maintain and strengthen friendly relations between” Colombia and Israel.
In a meeting between the two statesmen, Mr. Eban expressed Israel’s appreciation for the support of Colombia since 1948, when Colombia proposed Israel’s admission to the United Nations. He cited the UN session in which Colombia strongly urged free, direct Israel-Arab talks for peace. It was reported that President Valencia explained that this attitude was “immutable” in view of the principles affecting policies of his Government.
Mr. Eban, in an address in Spanish, spoke at a joint session of the Colombian Senate and House of Representatives after receiving a special invitation extended by the Legislature. In his address, he said Israel and Latin America could increase their cooperation both in the service of peace in the Middle East and in joint development programs. He said also that the Latin American countries could aid peace by emphasizing their rejection of Arab doctrines of belligerence and aggression. Members of both houses gave him a standing, enthusiastic ovation.
In his talk with President Valencia and with Foreign Minister Gomez Martinez, Mr. Eban discussed direct Israel-Colombia cooperation in agricultural development, hydraulic exploration and training of rural community leaders. It was agreed to seek means of expanding such programs and of ensuring closer contact between Colombia and Israel in United Nations matters.