JERUSALEM (Dec. 22)
Premier Levi Eshkol presented today to the Parliament his new Cabinet which is composed of the same members as the one which fell last week when Mr. Eshkol resigned as Premier following his conflict with former Premier David Ben-Gurion over the “Lavon Affair.”
Premier Eshkol told the Parliament today that the new Cabinet would continue to act on the same basic principles and coalition agreements as the prior one in which the three partners were his Mapai Party, the National Religious Party and the Achdut Avodah. He emphasized the achievements of the prior Cabinet in the economy, absorption of immigrants and extensive developments in higher education. He stressed that the Government would continue to consolidate the nation’s security.
The Premier also voiced “profound regret” over the continued “rigid ways” of the Soviet Union, citing the Soviet veto yesterday of the Anglo-American resolution in the Security Council to dispose of the complaints and counter-complaints registered by Israel and Syria over a November 13 clash which escalated into a tank and air battle. He said the Anglo-American proposal was faulty because it evaded designating the aggressor, Syria, in that clash. However, he added, “even this evasive proposal has been vetoed by the Soviets because its sponsors refused to turn the truth upside down.”
He called the Soviet veto a “continuation of a one-sided approach, ignoring truth and supporting our deadly enemies.” He told the Knesset that he would nevertheless “seize every opportunity to continue our dialogue with the Soviet Union.” “We are entitled to hope,” he declared, “that the Soviet Union aspires to good neighborly relations with all countries of the Middle East.”
He said Israeli relations with the United States continued “in a spirit of understanding and friendship in important areas” and that Israel’s friendship with France occupied a central place in the growing ties between Israel and Europe, unaffected by the French trend toward improving relations with the Arab states. He noted that the same principles had been adopted by the new British Government.
Israel continues to pursue a policy of cooperation with developing countries which Israel hopes “will not give their support to acts or manifestations which are incompatible with the present friendly relations,” he stated. He indicated he planned to leave in January for an official visit to several East African countries, including Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda and Madagascar.